For Power Point slides or links to request information from speakers, please visit http://www.wrrc.unh.edu/lamprey-river-symposium.
Session I – Nutrients and Sediment
Concentration discharge relationships and long-term trends of solute fluxes vary among flood periods – Ashley Coble, postdoc, UNH
Fifteen years of weekly water quality data were analyzed to determine long-term trends in solute fluxes and how flooding events might affect concentration-discharge relationships pre-flood vs. post-flood periods.
NO3- fluxes increased in pre-flood years and decreased in flood years, but did not differ in post-flood years.
Fluxes of Cl-, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, sulfate, DOC, DIC, and silica shifted from increasing trends in pre-flood years to decreasing trends in post-flood years.
For NO3-, NH+, and PO3-, concentration was positively correlated with discharge only during flood years.
Results suggest that the two 100 year flood events (in 2006 and 2007) flushed accumulated NO3-, Cl-, and Na+ from the Lamprey River watershed and even after 7 years, these solutes fluxes still do not follow pre-flood trends.
Hydrologic controls on nitrate and specific conductivity in NH streams: New insights using sensor data – Michelle Shattuck, research scientist, UNH
The NH EPSCoR Ecosystems and Society project has established an aquatic sensor network that measures a wide array of water quality parameters on a near-continuous basis at 10 sites across NH. These include 8 headwater sites that span a range of land uses ranging from pristine headwaters of the White Mountains to the more suburban and urban headwaters found in southern NH. This sensor network provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand the hydrologic controls on both physical and chemical parameters on a time scale of minutes to days.
Sediment production in a tributary to Woodman Brook – Jacob Poirier, undergraduate student, UNH
For several years, sediment has been flowing into “T Creek”, a tributary of Woodman Brook in Durham. At times, this sediment has reached the Lamprey River. Sediment erosion is one of the most common problems leading to impaired water quality. High levels of suspended sediment can result in reduction of aesthetics and to degradation of aquatic habitats.
A groundwater spring feeds T Creek year-round and intermittently delivers sediment to T Creek. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the amount of sediment flux has been increasing over the last five years.
Quick macroinvertebrate studies performed above the source of the sediment showed a normal aquatic community living on a rocky bottom with clear water. Studies below the sediment source found no macroinvertebrates and a silty bottom.
This project attempted to determine the hydro-geologic processes that contribute high levels of suspended sediment to the spring on T Creek.
Results: The sediment from the spring is, on average, larger than the geologic material from the adjacent bank. This suggests that the suspended sediment in the creek is not coming from the bank. The highest levels of sediment turbidity were observed approximately one day after significant precipitation events and during periods of high snow melt as water recharged the ground water. The source of the spring water might also be a lower source confined under a layer of glaciomarine clay which might serve as the source of sediment. It is likely that the release of sediment is a natural process and is not related to human activity in the surrounding area.
Getting the P out of Pawtuckaway Lake – Wayne Ives, NHDES Watershed Management Bureau
Phosphorus concentrations have been increasing in parts of Pawtuckaway Lake, resulting in lower water quality. The lake has historically been lowered by 7 feet each winter. Management changes to meet instream flow protection for the Lamprey River mean the lake is now lowered 4.8 feet. Water was historically drained through Dolloff Dam at the north end, but now most outflow is through Drown’s Dam at the south end. By changing the amount and source of outflow, more phosphate has been exported. Early anecdotal results show that the water quality and clarity have improved as a result of these changes in lake management.
Session II – Dissolved organic matter, watershed characterization, groundwater heat pump applications and discussion
Direct response of dissolved organic nitrogen to nitrate (NO3-) availability in headwater streams – Adam Wymore, postdoc, UNH
Despite decades of research documenting the quantitative significance of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) across ecosystems, the drivers controlling its production and consumption are not well understood. DON can serve as either an energy or nitrogen source. One hypothesized control on DON concentration in streams is nitrate (NO3-) availability. Using a nutrient pulse method, stream NO3- was manipulated and the response of both the manipulated solute and ambient concentrations of DON were measured. Results showed that addition of NO3- sometimes resulted in in increased DON and sometimes reduced DON. The role of DON can switch between serving as a source of nutrients or energy. As such, it is expected that the role of DON varies among watersheds and throughout the seasons. A one-size-fits –all strategy should be avoided.
Improving watershed delineation with lidar terrain data and stormwater infrastructure – Neil Olson, hydrogeologist, NHDES
Stormwater infrastructure can alter the natural flow paths in a watershed, producing different catchment areas than those defined by surface drainage. High resolution LiDAR and 10m DEMs alone does not necessarily equate into higher accuracy, especially on altered terrain; stormwater infrastructure must be factored in.
Mapping Lamprey River watershed health indicators: Using Landsat imagery to assess changes in urban sprawl, impervious surfaces, and lake water temperature – Megan Corbiere, research scientist, Applied Geosolutions
A spatiotemporal analysis routine identified hot spots of urban sprawl based on land use and land cover. Two identified hot spots were adjacent to Route 125 and Route 101 in Epping. Landsat thermal observations showed that lake temperatures in the watershed have increased an average of I degree Celsius per decade. Future work will evaluate stressor-response relationships between land use trends and lake water quality metrics.
Geothermal heat pump applications in New Hampshire and the Northeast US – Matt Davis, associate professor, UNH
Geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems are recognized as one of the most efficient technologies for heating and cooling buildings and offer a potentially attractive alternative to heating oil and propane in the Northeast US. Several significant barriers limit the widespread adoption of the technology: low consumer awareness, weak consumer confidence, and high up-front costs. Overcoming these barriers requires the collection and analysis of actual system performance and new financial incentives. 40 GHP systems were studies over three years. System performance is related to above-ground factors (heat pump equipment, building envelope, usage patterns) and below-ground factors (ground loop type, installation, thermal conductivity). When properly designed and installed, GHP systems provide a reliable and cost-effective means for space heating and cooling. Retrofitting existing buildings is difficult and might not be cost-effective.
Significance of research findings - Discussion
Session III – Monitoring, planning, tracking and discussion
Sentinel monitoring in the Northeast Region – Paul Stacey, research coordinator, GBNERR
New and powerful way to use existing monitoring data and observation programs to track environmental change.
Piscataqua Region Environmental Planning Assessment – Abigail Gronberg, technical assistance program manager, PREP
This program tracks municipal regulations that relate to or affect nitrogen loading, climate change, and impervious cover. Each municipality’s code and regulations were evaluated and recommended priority actions were suggested. To encourage and support work for the recommended actions, PREP provided grants to 11 communities to help with adoption of stormwater ordinances or increased buffers, natural resource inventories, and climate change action plans.
Great Bay pollution tracking and accounting pilot project: Update and next steps – Sally Soule, Watershed Assistance Section, NHDES and James Houle, program director, UNH Stormwater Center
Purpose: Bring municipalities together to discuss, develop, and implement regional pollution tracking and accounting methods for pollution management activities implemented in the Great Bay watershed. Participants included 9 municipalities, EPS, GBNERR, PREP, SWA, regional planning, and others.
Outcomes of Phase I:
regionally developed and shared comprehensive tracking matrix that describes categories of activities to be tracked (BMPs, septic systems, land use conversions, fertilizer use, etc.) including frequency of tracking, tracking units (acres, pounds, etc.), who will track them (municipalities, regional planning commissions, state, etc.), and tracking challenges.
regional consensus and acceptance of definitions for tracking and accounting.
established process and working group for further development and implementation off regional tracking and accounting methods.
review of other regional tracking efforts including Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, and Long Island Sound
pilot testing of tracking of items in the matrix and evaluation by expert panel
development of a process to establish accounting methods for crediting tracked items
Tracking fecal contamination in the New Hampshire Seacoast Region – Laura Diemer, project manager, and Lauren Bizzari, project scientist, FB Environmental Associates
NH has over 300 pathogen impaired areas. Contamination in wet weather is usually carried by run-off. Contamination in dry weather is usually carried in groundwater or base flow. Although sites are officially impaired by bacteria, disease to swimmers is usually caused by viruses associated with the bacteria, not the bacteria themselves. Tracking viruses can be difficult; F+ coliophage can be used, but not all humans produce coliophage.
Genomic methods for identifying water quality indicators in streams – An engineer’s misadventures in biology – Alison Watts, research assistant professor, UNH
Attached algae, or periphyton, are used by many state water quality programs in shallow streams as a biologic indicator that is responsive to environmental change, especially nutrients. A pilot study was conducted to develop initial data on periphyton in an example NH stream and evaluate the use of genomic methods for taxa identification.
Method: Periphyton and water chemistry samples were taken from 15 sites on the Exeter and Lamprey watersheds and Great Bay. Algae species were identified by both microscopic and genomic parameters and classified using USGS tolerance guidelines.
Results: In general, species composition within each sample was consistent with abundance patterns noted in the literature. Genomic analysis expands the number of organisms in each sample from fewer than 100 to tens of thousands, most of which are not associated with specific characteristics. Further, care must be taken to make sure the database matches the method of DNA processing. Technology is moving so fast that equipment and processes can vary greatly even within a year. For water quality management, this technique will not be feasible until all process produce similar/same results.
Discussion and wrap-up
Posters and Displays
Using high resolution topography and tracer studies to understand fluvial transport processes during low to moderate flows – Meghan Arpino, graduate student, Department of Earth Sciences, UNH
Automotive distribution of platinum group elements to NH Soils – Scott Greenwood, research scientist, UNH
Modeling the fate and transport of fecal coliform in Lamprey River Watershed – Tao Huang, graduate student, UNH
The contribution of aquatic metabolism to CO2 emissions from New Hampshire streams – Lauren Koenig, PhD candidate, UNH
Summertime dissolved oxygen analysis of the Lamprey River watershed – Mark T Kotowski, undergraduate student, and Anne Lightbody, assistant professor of hydrology, UNH
Soak up the Rain NH – Barbara McMillan, watershed outreach coordinator, NHDES
Lamprey River Advisory Committee exhibit - Sharon Meeker, LRAC
“Take a Hike” – Determining the feasibility of a regional walking trail along the Lamprey River – Kyle Pimental, Strafford Regional Planning
Strafford/Rockingham permeable reactive barrier demonstration project to reduce septic system nitrate - An update – Danna Truslow, Truslow Resource Consulting LLC
Understanding potential futures of riverine chloride impairment in New England USA due to climate change, groundwater storage, and human activities – Shan Zuidema, research scientist, UNH