Sources, Transport, and Fate of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in

the Upper Falls Lake Watershed, NC

Ph.D. student Mark River has launched a study of the sources, transport, and fate of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Upper Falls Lake Watershed in North Carolina.  The Falls Lake Watershed supplies all of Durham's drinking water, along with half of Raleigh's.  The Falls Lake Watershed also receives half of Durham's wastewater, along with all of Hillsborough's and Butner's wastewater.  The rapid population growth and changing land use in the watershed raises concerns about the potential for eutrophication of water resources.


Riverís field work and lab analysis investigates the stormflow delivery of nutrients; the relationship between phosphorus and suspended sediment; the ultimate fate of nitrogen and phosphorus that reaches wetlands/reservoirs; and how wetland restoration and/or BMPs can reduce N & P transport in the watershed.

Mark River, DUWC


Upper left. Mark River collects sediment cores from Falls Lake.  Right. Collected core samples awaiting analysis. Lower left. River collects a sample of the stormwater runoff that will eventually find its way to Falls Lake.