Impact of waste inputs on the quality of the Avon River

Water Resources Assessment Unit, Technical Support Section, Southwestern Region
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Ontario Ministry of the Environment

A study of the Avon River was carried out in 1977 to determine the magnitude of all waste inputs from urban, rural and industrial sources, to measure effects of these wastes on water quality and biota and to recommend a course of action to improve water quality. Two three-day surveys were conducted in June and July, 1977 which included the measurement of contaminants in industrial, sewage treatment plant, storm sewer and agricultural discharges. Agricultural runoff loadings to the Avon River were established to determine the significance on water quality in relation to other waste inputs. Water quality in the Avon River was measured at 13 stations on the Avon River, based on sampling and analyses for heavy metals, ammonia, bacteria, chlorine residual, BOD5, suspended solids and phosphorus. A special study on the effects and extent of impact of chlorine residual was included. In addition, four biological surveys were conducted from June to November, 1977 to document the types and biomass of aquatic plants in the Avon River from Stratford to the North Thames River. Fish collections were carried out on two occasions and macroinvertebrates were sampled on one occasion in July. To afford historical comparison, biological and water quality information obtained since 1959 was used to compare with conditions in 1977. Information from PLUARG reports released in 1978 were used extensively to estimate waste loads. Unit area waste loads from the PLUARG report "Summary Pilot Watershed Report Grand River Basin, Ontario" were used to estimate waste loadings from urban runoff (storm sewers), wooded/idle land and agricultural runoff.

Ontario Ministry of the Environment
Other O.M.E. Environmental Reports
water quality, waste contaminant loads, aquatic life, water use, aquatic plant biomass, bottom fauna, fish inventory