Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Geology

First Advisor

Dr. Phillip Reeder


This study involved monthly monitoring of water quality at 30 rural and urban sites in Douglas County, Nebraska from January 1996, to December 1996. Eight water parameters were measured or calculated for each sample and the results were then analyzed. Nitrate, potassium, chloride and sodium were the four parameters used in the thesis to display the strongest relationships between the land uses and quality of water. This thesis examines how rural and urban land uses affect the concentrations of the chemical constituents. Additionally, this thesis will correlate the number of businesses and residents with nitrate, potassium, chloride and sodium. Rural area sample sites averaged higher concentrations of both nitrate and potassium. Urban area sample sites, however, averaged higher concentrations of sodium and chloride. Sodium and chloride had the strongest positive correlation associated with the number of businesses and residents within an area. This relationship may result from the use of these chemicals in mainly urban areas as de-icing agents for streets. Nitrate and potassium had some negative correlations values, but not as strong as sodium and chloride. This may be because nitrate and potassium used fertilizers, in both rural and urban areas. This study documents the relationship between urbanization and surface water quality. In addition, this study also provides a baseline study for future comparison. The results suggest the need to consider water quality effects when planning for urban expansion and monitoring of urban areas.


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 2002 Steven L. Bartosh.

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