Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays

Peconic Estuary Solute Transport Model

This Solute Transport Model will be a tool to estimate time-varying nitrogen loading rates to the Peconic Estuary.

Peconic Estuary Program is working with the USGS to develop a Solute Transport Model for the Peconic Estuary Watershed. Here is a link to the USGS’s workplan for the Solute Transport Model.

This Solute Transport Model will be a tool to estimate time-varying nitrogen loading rates to the Peconic Estuary resulting from wastewater and fertilizer inputs to the groundwater. The overall objective of the study is to apply methods that will allow for the quantitative analysis of nitrogen loading rates to the Peconic Estuary resulting from wastewater and fertilizer inputs to groundwater in Suffolk County.

Specifically, the objectives of the investigation are to:

1) develop data sets representing current and historic land uses relevant to nitrogen loading in coastal watersheds,

2) incorporate these data as source terms in models capable of simulating transport processes to estimate current estuarine loading rates and nutrient concentrations in the aquifer, and

3) use these current-condition models to simulate the response of estuarine loading rates to possible wastewater-management actions.

The proposed work would allow communities to make more informed decisions regarding future wastewater management alternatives and would help the PEP assure that those alternatives result in an acceptable level of protection for the region’s aquatic ecosystems.

Similar USGS work on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, contributed to development and implementation of nitrogen management scenarios to meet water quality goals. See here for the link to the report the Use of Numerical Models to Simulate Transport of Sewage-Derived Nitrate in a Coastal Aquifer, Central and Western Cape Cod, Massachusetts and The simulated effects of wastewater-management actions on the hydrologic system and nitrogen-loading rates to wells and ecological receptors, Popponesset Bay Watershed, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Don Walter presented on the Role of Numerical Models in the Development and Implementation of the Nitrogen TMDLs at the PEP Technical Advisory Committee meeting in 2015. See part I and part II of the presentation.

Currently, USGS is in the data gathering and model development phase and has reached out to the County, Towns, Villages, and Agricultural partners and groups within the Peconic Estuary to collect specific data. Please see the USGS Peconic Estuary Solute Transport Model Data Request document from the USGS requesting parcel scale data. Parcel level data is needed as far back in time as possible for date-built, wastewater treatment (public wastewater treatment facility or onsite septic system), public water supply use or private well use, historical land use, and historical agricultural practices and fertilizer use.

Please review the document and if you have any relevant data that can be shared, please contact the Peconic Estuary Program.

Search here for Solute Transport Model meeting minutes

Meetings

The next Quarterly Solute Transport Model meeting will be on August 21st , 2019 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Quarterly February, May, August, November on the 3rd Wednesday of the Month

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