The urban stream syndrome is the degradation of a stream caused by several factors associated with the urban environment, such as the influx of pollutants, a lack of riparian vegetation and increased erosion caused by stream channel modification (Walsh, 2005). Monitoring water quality in streams is crucial to determine the extent of the urban stream syndrome and eventually mitigate to reduce the degradation of the streams and/or restore their health. To fully understand the urban stream syndrome an integration of ecological, economic and behavioral research must be done (Walsh, 2005). While a full analysis of factors is out of the scope of this research, this study focuses on the chemical composition of the streams and aims to quantify the difference between rural and urban stream water.
A total of 66 samples were taken from 51 sites during the summer of 2018. Both urban and rural streams in and around Schenectady County in Upstate New York were sampled. At each site, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and pH were recorded. In addition, water samples were collected and analyzed for ions and element concentrations.
The data will be used to compare urban and rural streams and to identify polluted streams. In addition, the ion concentrations will be compared with data collected in 2016 to identify possible changes over time. Finally, this study can be used as a base line to monitor long term changes.
Walsh, C.J., Roy, A.H., Feminella, J.W., Cottingham, P.D., Groffman, P.M. and Morgan, R.P., 2005. The urban stream syndrome: current knowledge and the search for a cure. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 24(3), pp. 706-723.