Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Oatka Creek is the second largest tributary of the Genesee River and is a highly prized trout fishery. The Oatka Creek portion of the Genesee River Project Study focused on identifying nonpoint and point sources, locating and quantifying the nutrient and sediment losses from Oatka Creek watershed, and through simulation identifying possible remediation or management practices. To accomplish this task, a multifaceted, integrated approach was taken by combining stream monitoring, segment analysis, and hydrologic modeling [Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)]. Runoff from nonpoint sources (Confined Animal Feeding Operation sites, agricultural practices, and urban areas) and point sources (wastewater treatment plants and State Pollution Discharge Elimination Sites), all anthropogenic sources, accounts for ~70% of the phosphorus load of Oatka Creek, suggesting improvements in stream water quality are possible. The most effective management recommendation to reduce the overall total phosphorus loading in Oatka Creek is to upgrade all four wastewater treatment plants (Warsaw, Pavilion, Leroy, and Scottsville) to tertiary treatment systems. Other effective management recommendations focused on nonpoint sources such as grassed waterways, buffer strips, and cover crops within the two most impaired tributaries (Wyoming Road and Roanoke Road) in the Oatka Creek watershed. Either or both practices together would significantly improve the water quality in the Oatka Creek watershed by reducing the average annual P concentration to below the 45-μg P/L target. Portions of the creek are experiencing stream bank soil erosion. Stream bank stabilization techniques, some already implemented, would have a beneficial impact on reducing the total phosphorus and total suspended solids loading in this segment of Oatka Creek.

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