Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Volume 2 (1973).


Copyright 1973 by the author(s).


Selected stream and ground water sites in the White River Drainage Basin were sampled for phosphate and nitrate content. The sampling procedure was designed to elucidate the impact of each tributary drainage area on water quality of the White River.

Concentration of nitrates found in surface waters was 5.7 ͞+ l. 7 5 ppm (͞x ± sd), while that of phosphates was 0.67 ± 0.33 ppm. Ground water contained higher concentrations of both contaminants, 8.81 ± 0.66 ppm for nitrates and 0.82 ± 0.20ppm for phosphates. The White River increased in nitrate content at each downstream sampling site. Values ranged from 4.4 ppm near the headwaters to 7.7 ppm at the farthest point sampled downstream.

The highest nitrate concentration found in any stream sampled was 9.9 ppm, and the highest in ground water was 25.7 ppm. According to some authorities, these concentrations, especially the latter, are high enough to induce cyanosis due to methemoglobinemia if consumed by infants.