Upstream to downstream: stormwater quality in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

Academic Article


  • The focus of this research was upon consequences of urban stormwater runoff entering two streams in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Mayagüez is the largest urban area of the western side of the island of Puerto Rico and provides an excellent point of reference to monitor the affects of urban development on water quality in a tropical climate. The two monitored streams were Quebrada del Oro and Cano Majagual. The research hypothesis asks, "Does stormwater runoff from urban development measurably affect the water quality of downstream receiving water by raising the conductivity, temperature, and flow quantity characteristics during storm events in comparison to upstream water quality?" In essence, the results for Quebrada del Oro agreed with the hypothesis of this project, while Cano Majagual produced results different from the hypothesis primarily due to the absence of non-urbanized land use for both upstream and downstream sections as well as the buffering capacity of a large wetland just upstream of the downstream instrument location of Cano Majagual. Both streams showed signs of stream impairment according to the temperature criteria (32°C or 90°F) set by the Junta de Calidad Ambiental and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Dissolved oxygen levels of the streams were severely affected by water temperature and oxygen-consuming matter within these stream systems, making dissolved oxygen and temperature important water quality parameters for tropical climates.
  • Authors

  • Wengrove, Meagan E
  • Ballestero, Tom
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 2012
  • Keywords

  • Puerto Rico
  • Rivers
  • Urbanization
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water Pollution, Chemical
  • Water Quality
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21927787
  • Start Page

  • 5025
  • End Page

  • 5034
  • Volume

  • 184
  • Issue

  • 8