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Export Coefficient Modeling to Assess Phosphorus Loading in an Urban Watershed

by Jennifer G. Winter, Hamish C. Duthie
Journal of the American Water Resources Association ()


An export coefficient modelling approach was used to assess the influence of land use on phosphorus loading to a Southern Ontario (USA) stream. A model was constructed for the 1995-96 water year and calibrated within+or-3 percent of the observed mean concentration of total phosphorus. It was found that runoff from urban areas contributed most to the loading of phosphorus to the stream. When the model was assessed by running it for the 1977-78 water year, using water quality and land use data collected independently, agreement within+or-7 percent was obtained. The model was then used to forecast the impact of future urban development proposed for the watershed, in terms of phosphorus loading, and to evaluate the reduction in loading resulting from several urban best management practices (BMP). It was determined that phosphorus removal will have to be applied to all the urban runoff from the watershed to appreciably reduce stream phosphorus concentration. Of the BMP designs assessed, an infiltration pond system resulted in the greatest phosphorus load reduction, 50 percent from the 1995-96 baseline.

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