Water Quality Assessment in the Town Creek Watershed, Mississippi

Author(s): Ortega-Achury, S. ;  Ramirez-Avila, J.;  McAnally, W.;  Martin, J.

Surface water quality is deteriorating around the world at an increasingly alarming pace. The majority of the incidences from nutrient impacts are primarily occurring in areas with increased development. Town Creek Watershed is located within the Tombigbee River Basin representing 50% of the Upper Basin and is approximately 10% of the entire Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Watershed. Town Creek watershed directly contributes to the Aberdeen pool on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Data relating sediment and nutrients concentrations and discharges after 1994 are not available for most of the watersheds within the Tombigbee River Basin. The objective of this study is to provide valuable water quality data for the upper Tombigbee Watershed. The study area included four of the five sub-basins within Town Creek that according to the EPA and MDEQ are biologically impaired due to sediment and nutrients. The study monitored the water quality conditions in the major tributaries of Town Creek Watershed. Grab samples and in situ measurements of water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature (T), electric conductivity (EC), turbidity, and pH were taken at 24 stations with 7 along the principal channel within the study area. The collected water samples were analyzed for total phosphorus (TP), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DP), and suspended sediment concentration (SSC). Preliminary results for the monitoring period of May 2008 to February 2009 showed mean values for T, pH and EC of 23 °C, 8, and 343 mS cm-1, respectively. DO concentrations and turbidity levels showed mean values of 6.4 ppm and 14 NTU, respectively. Phosphorus and sediment concentrations presented mean values of 0.07 mg L-1, 0.12 mg L-1, and 19 mg L-1 for DP, TP and SSC, respectively. Significant levels of impairment on water quality were observed at sampling stations surrounding and receiving water from the urban area (City of Tupelo and Plantersville plants of water treatment). The most important source of SSC was the area under construction for the Toyota Assembly Plant at Blue Springs, MS. Tributaries downstream of the Town Creek at the Brewer Rd site were not important contributors of sediments and P; however, they do contribute a significant volume of flow allowing for a dilution effect that kept constant the mean SSC. Considering the 0.1 mg-TP L-1 water quality criteria, the headwater areas were not impaired by P concentrations, while the tributaries near and after the urban areas presented P impairment showing mean concentrations values up to 1.2 mg-TP L-1.


Technical Presentations

  • Delta Water Quality
  • Delta Water and Agriculture
  • Wetlands
  • Water Quality
  • Sediments
  • Non-Point
  • Management and Sustainability
  • Wood Treatment
  • Modeling
  • Soil and Water Treatment


Responsible Site Design: Implementing Innovative Stormwater Management Strategies

The primary goal of the workshop is to create a dynamic learning experience that examines the role of stormwater management in the built environment. The workshop will focus on integrating ecologically sound water management approaches into site design. After the workshop, attendees will be familiar with the following concepts and technical issues:

  • Knowledge of the stormwater treatment chain
  • Knowledge of the impact of land use codes on stormwater management
  • Application of a design process that mitigates the effects of stormwater on-site
  • Knowledge of the relationship between land use codes and design for innovative stormwater management


For information contact:
Jessie Schmidt
Box 9680
Mississippi State, MS 39762