Civil and Environmental Engineering


Date of this Version

Winter 12-1-2011


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Civil Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor John Stansbury. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2011

Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Mihulka


The purpose of this research project was to assess the water quality of an urban stream for total maximum daily load assessment in Omaha, Nebraska. This was accomplished by sampling the water quality at four different sites. These sites included sampling upstream, within, and downstream of the city. These samples were conducted throughout 2010 and 2011.

The results showed that concentrations of Escherichia coli (E. coli) are routinely above established criteria for the state of Nebraska. Concentrations of E. coli that exist in the Papillion Creek Watershed upstream of the City of Omaha have also been shown to be above established criteria. Therefore reduction of sources of E. coli within the city will not achieve compliance. Current data cannot discern specific sources of E. coli pollution in the Papillion Creek Watershed. Concentrations of total nitrogen and total phosphorus have been shown to be above recommended criteria for the Western Cornbelt Plains Ecoregion. Total nitrogen and nitrite plus nitrate were shown to be derived more from upstream sources above the City of Omaha.

Advisor: John S. Stansbury