Date of Award

Summer 1984

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Crandall, Clifford


The purposes of this research were to develop a system to monitor winter runoff at three urban study sites and to analyze the water quality characteristics of snow and runoff occurring at these sites. Urban snow, snowmelt and rainfall runoff were characterized by chemical analyses in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from the autumn of 1982 through the Spring of 1984. A total of 165 snow samples and 70 runoff samples were collected from the three study sites and were analyzed for numerous chemical parameters. The most significant findings of the snow sample analyses were that the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus were present in the snowpack at concentrations sufficient to cause eutrophication of receiving waters. Two toxic metals, cadmium and chromium, were detected in concentrations sufficient to inhibit the reproduction and growth of sensitive fish species and aquatic microorganisms. The most significant findings of the snowmelt runoff sample analyses were the high concentrations of chlorides, suspended solids, nutrients and the toxic metals: cadmium, chromium, and lead. Total and fecal coliform counts indicated that appreciable bacterial contamination is conveyed by snowmelt runoff. The characteristics of the snow and snowmelt runoff from the Milwaukee area were found to be similar to snow and snowmelt observed by other researchers at other urban areas of the world.



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