Jordan Creek Baseline Water Quality Project: Development of Analytical Methods

Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Richard Biagioni


Jordan Creek, an urban creek that runs through downtown Springfield, MO, has been the source of many significant flood events throughout the city’s history. Much of the urban section of the creek flows over a concrete bed. Due to interest in improving the downtown area, Jordan Creek will be restored with a plan for flood plains developed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The primary goal of the project is to determine the baseline characteristics of Jordan Creek preceding the restoration measures by the Crop of engineers and the City of Springfield. Samples were collected during base flow and storm runoff conditions. Water chemistry parameters were measured on site using a multi-parameter water quality checker. Specific contaminants measured include total nitrogen, total phosphorus, hexane-extractable materials (HEM; oil and grease), and heavy metals (zinc, lead, copper, arsenic, and cadmium). Total nitrogen was measured using alkaline persulfate digestion to nitrate followed by second derivative spectroscopy. Total phosphorus was measured by acid persulfate digestion followed by spectrophotometric analysis. Heavy metals were measured using ICP-AES. HEM is quantitatively measured using solid phase extraction with hexane. Quality assurance/quality control testing has demonstrated reliable methods. Results show elevated phosphorus during storm events and higher nitrogen during base flow. Sinc is measureable, but all other parameters below practical limits. A follow up study will be performed using the methods established during this project after the restoration measures have taken place.


Jordan Creek, urban water quality, nutrients, hydrocarbons, metals, storm runoff, base flow, quality assurance/quality control

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© Mary E. Krause