(2015) Greenwood and Drury Detention Basin - Water Quality Monitoring


The James River Basin of southwest Missouri is listed on the state’s 303(d) list as being impaired by nutrients from multiple point and nonpoint sources (MDNR, 2001). In 2001, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was developed for the James River that set nutrient limits and targets for both wastewater treatment facilities and urban nonpoint land use . The TMDL set in-stream eutrophication threshold target concentrations for total phosphorus (TP) at 0.075 mg/L and total nitrogen (TN) at 1.5 mg/L. Past efforts to control point sources through improved tertiary treatment have reduced nutrient concentrations in the Lower James River between 60-70 percent. However, nutrient concentrations still remain high in streams draining urban areas, particularly during storm flows.

To date, few studies have addressed urban nonpoint source pollution concerns in the James River Basin, and knowledge of local urban storm water quality and the effectiveness of pollution reduction efforts in this area are incomplete. Water quality monitoring is therefore needed to better understand the role of these types of developments as nonpoint sources of nutrients in the James River Basin and to test the effectiveness of urban storm water controls at reducing pollution from these areas.

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, in cooperation with the James River Basin Partnership and the City of Springfield, implemented a Section 319 Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency Region VII designed to reduce nonpoint source pollution in Jordan Creek and Fassnight Creek watersheds located in Springfield, Missouri. This project involved the implementation of detention basin retrofits designed to improve infiltration capacity and increase residence time to ultimately reduce nutrient and sediment pollution within the existing storm water infrastructure. This project supports efforts to meet TMDL requirements and the future Wilson Creek TMDL by finding effective techniques to meet these water quality standards.

The Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute (OEWRI) at Missouri State University was contracted to perform the water quality monitoring component of this project. The purpose of this study is to document nutrient, suspended solids, and chloride loads from two small urban catchments that drain to existing detention basins and test the effectiveness of retrofits to those basins designed to improve infiltration, increase residence time, and trap pollutants all which will improve water quality.


  1. Collect hydrology and water quality before and after detention basin retrofits using automated samplers,
  2. Analyze water quality indicators including; nutrients (total phosphorus and total nitrogen), total suspended solids (TSS), chloride, specific conductivity, and pH for individual samples collected throughout a storm event, and
  3. comparing annual loads to assess the effectiveness of the retrofit design.




Missouri Department of Natural Resources

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII - Section 319

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