How Water Quality Is Important For The Health Of The Ecosystem

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Water quality is important to consider for streams, especially in an urban setting. It is important to understand water quality not only for the health of the ecosystem, but also for humans who drink the water and use the water for recreational purposes. In the city, it is difficult to maintain adequate water quality standards because of factors like excessive pollutants from road runoff, sediments, nutrients, and organic waste. The water levels are often sporadic and will vary by land use such as a parking lot versus a park. A way to combat this problem is to manage or restore the riparian zone by adding vegetation, encouraging infiltration, and reducing runoff rates. Five sites in Austin, Texas were sampled, assessed, and analyzed to…show more content…
If the site was not successful or had moderate success, future steps were suggested in order for the restoration to be effective.

The Colorado River

The Colorado River had the highest water quality of all tested sites. The dissolved oxygen at this site was 8.92 mg/L and could be attributed to a number of different reasons (Table 1). The sample was taken when the sun was high and water dwelling plants had been photosynthesizing for a number of hours. The water was flowing fairly quickly and there was a small riffle at the area where the reading was taken which could have increased dissolved oxygen of the water. The river had a rocky gravel bottom which provided plenty of habitat for the macroinvertebrates that reside in the river. The variety of macroinvertebrates that were found were indicators of high water quality; species included caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies, and dragonfly larvae. The macroinvertebrates were all very large specimens, indicating a healthy environment and plenty of resources to support their growth.

The site examined was downstream of the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant. The high water quality at the Colorado River site could be partially attributed to the Plant’s ability to sanitize and reuse wastes and prevent contamination through leakages of unclean water. The water at the Colorado River site was cool despite only mediocre tree cover. The flow was quick in thinner parts of the river and slowed when it widened out, giving
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