To assess the sampling results, the project team developed water quality benchmarks. These benchmarks represent what the concentrations of potential pollutants would be in a healthy stream. The following benchmarks were used for study in West Hickman.
At least one sample was above the benchmark level for each of the following parameters: E. coli, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Total Suspended Solids, Conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen. Each cell in the table below represents the number of samples that were impaired and the total number of samples ( # of impaired / total samples). The data is presented in this way because each site had a different total number of samples. Sites where the total number of impaired samples is nearly the same as the total number of samples are experiencing the most pollution. The parameters with the most samples above the benchmark were E. coli, Nitrogen and Conductivity. The solutions to E. coli and Nitrogen pollution will also improve Conductivity pollution, so the project team chose to focus on E. coli and Nitrogen. Read chapter 5 of the full watershed management plan for more information on this topic.