Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Geology

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Peake


Urban hydrology has become an important field of study with the growth of urban areas over the past century. Urbanization has important effects on waterways within the city. A major impact in the flushing of contaminants off impervious surfaces into urban streams during storm events. This study analyzes the Little Papillion Creek in Omaha, Nebraska (1) to assess selected water quality parameters during different magnitude runoff events, (2) to determine if a first flush of pollutants is apparent during the rising and descending limb of the storm hydrograph at one location on the Little Papillion Creek, and (3) to determine the water quality for base flow conditions at six sites along the Little Papillion Creek during times of no precipitation. Water quality (specifically fecal coliform, pH, nitrates, sodium, suspended solids, temperature, and total dissolved solids) during baseflow was shown to be similar for all six sites. Higher volume runoff events did not show more degradation in water quality than moderate or light storms. Water quality was hypothesized to decrease during the rising limb of a storm hydrograph and as the storm continued, become diluted by less contaminated runoff and improve. This trend was found for suspended solids, nitrates, sodium, and fecal coliform. However, only nitrates and sodium demonstrated a first flush for four out of the five storms.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Geography/Geology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2003 Kristie Raymond.

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