JWARP  Vol.5 No.6 , June 2013
Phosphorus Mass Balance of the Illinois River Watershed in Arkansas and Oklahoma
ABSTRACT

Water quality degradation in the Illinois River Watershed (IRW) has been linked to excess nutrients, primarily phosphorus (P). A mass balance study was performed on the IRW in Oklahoma and Arkansas to quantify the magnitude of P entering the watershed between the closure of Lake Tenkiller’s dam in 1954 to 2006. Results showed that a substantial mass of P was, and is, being imported into the watershed relative to the mass of P leaving the watershed. The study demonstrated that poultry production has been the major contributor of P imported to the watershed since 1964, and is currently responsible for more than 76% of the net annual P additions to the IRW. Between 1949 and 2002, more than 200,000 tonnes of P was added to the IRW. A P delivery ratio for the IRW was computed from the mass balance results and observed loads indicating that 4% of annual P applied to the IRW landscape reached Lake Tenkiller between 1999 and 2006. Allocation of P loads from 1949 to 2002 to Lake Tenkiller computed with the delivery ratio showed that wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges were responsible for more than 50% of P reaching Lake Tenkiller in 1949, followed by dairy cattle (32% of loads). Poultry contribution to P reaching Lake Tenkiller was 5% in 1949 but increased rapidly to become the largest source in 1969 at approximately 49%, and in 2002 at 54%. Both dairy and WWTP portions of the loads declined from 1949 levels with less than 4% attributable to dairy and less than 34% assigned to WWTP in 2002.


Cite this paper
B. Engel, M. Smith, J. Fisher, R. Olsen and L. Ahiablame, "Phosphorus Mass Balance of the Illinois River Watershed in Arkansas and Oklahoma," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 6, 2013, pp. 591-603. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.56060.
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