Assessment and comparison of the water quality of an agricultural creek (Ledbetter) and an undisturbed creek (Panther) emptying into Kentucky Lake, Kentucky and adjacent Tennessee, were conducted in July 2003 using biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) analyses. Terrestrial, gravel bar, and surface water samples were collected in sterile whirl-pak bags from the creeks and analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) content. Aliquots of samples were filtered and inoculated with creek microbes. Initial and final analyses were done using Oceanography-International Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with Infrared detector. The results show that the average BDOC concentration in Panther Creek (1.17 mg/liter; DOC = 2.50 mg/liter) was similar to that in Ledbetter Creek (0.87 mg/liter; DOC = 2.23 mg/liter). No clear DOC or BDOC trends were evident between the two creeks or well types sampled. Although results of the current study show no clear DOC or BDOC trends between the two creeks, it is important to monitor these creeks on a continual basis to maintain the quality of drinking water treatment and distribution systems.
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Vol. 66 • No. 1