LOWER AMERICAN RIVER BASIN
CALIFORNIA
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
WATER QUALITY STUDY
COLO
NEVADA
ViVflfaKy
	 U.S.DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR	
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ADMINI STRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF

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WATER QUALITY STUDY
LONER AMERICAN RIVER
CALIFORNIA
ABSTRACT
Water quality problems in the Lower American River due to
nutrient enrichment of surface waters by treated waste
effluents are expected to become important during low-flow
years starting in 1975. The operation of the Bureau of
Reclamation's Auburn-Folsom South Unit as presently proposed
is not expected to significantly influence these water quality
conditions. Regulation of the flow of the Lower American
River by altering the proposed method of operation of this
unit could postpone the onset of such problems. Such action
would be of temporary value, however, and the least costly
long-term solution would require control of Lower American.
River water quality by diversion of future incremental waste
flows to the Sacramento River and reuse of existing treated
waste flows for parkland irrigation.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ADMINISTRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
OCTOBER 1969

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
I. INTRODUCTION.		1
PURPOSE			1
SCOPE		1
AUTHORITY			2
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT		2
II. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS..	3
FINDINGS		3
CONCLUSIONS		4
RECOMMENDATIONS			6
III- PROJECT DESCRIPTION		7
IV. STUDY AREA DESCRIPTION		10
LOCATION AND BOUNDARIES				10
GEOLOGY		10
CLIMATE		11
V. WATER RESOURCES OF THE STUDY AREA		12
SURFACE WATER		12
GROUND WATER	r		12
QUALITY OF SURFACE AND GROUND WATER		14
VI. ECONOMY		17
PAST AND PRESENT			17
FUTURE	 18
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
VII. WATER REQUIREMENTS-MUNICIPAL, INDUSTRICAL, AND AGRICULTURAL	 21
PAST AND PRESENT WATER USES			 21
FUTURE WATER USES	 22
VIII. WATER QUALITY CONTROL	 26
SOURCES OF WASTE WATER	 26
WATER QUALITY REQUIREMENTS	 31
PRESENT CONDITIONS		 33
BIOLOGICAL CHARACTER	 35
IMPACT OF PROJECT ON WATER QUALITY	 36
1.	Dissolved Oxygen	 36
2.	Total Dissolved Solids and Hardness	 37
3.	Nutrients	 38
4.	Impact of Fertilization	39
5.	Impact of Project on Recreation and Fishery	43
IMPACT WITHOUT FOLSOM SOUTH CANAL DIVERSIONS	47
1.	Dissolved Oxygen Control and Impact on Total
Dissolved Solids and Hardness	48
2.	Water Quality and Relation to Recreation and
Fishery		48
IMPACT OF PROPOSED DIVERSION COMPARED WITH CONDITIONS
WITHOUT THE PROJECT		49
IX. WATER QUALITY CONTROL NEEDS	50
MITIGATION OF NUTRIENT IMPACT BY FLOW AUGMENTATION
UNDER PROJECT CONDITIONS	50
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Pa8e
ALTERNATIVES UNDER PROJECT CONDITIONS		52
1.	Advanced Sewage Treatment Methods....		52
2.	Diversion of Wastes from the Lower American
River		53
3.	Summary of Alternative Plans		58
ALTERNATIVES UNDER CONDITIONS WITHOUT PROJECT		59
1.	Advanced Waste Treatment Methods		60
2.	Diversion of Wastes from the Lower American
River		60
3.	Comparative Costs with and without the Project...	61
X. OTHER EFFECTS OF PROJECT ON WATER QUALITY		63
EFFECTS ON SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN DELTA			63
REFERENCES			65
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LIST OF TABLES
Table
No.	Page
1	Water Quality			15
2	Employment Distribution, 1959		19
3	Population Projections		20
4	Waste Treatment Facilities		28
5	Projected Waste Loading		30
6	Flow Regulation for Dissolved Oxygen Control		37
7	Projected Total Dissolved Solids and Hardness...		38
8	Nutrient Load				38
9	Estimated Recreation Potential Losses		45
10	Impact of Low Dissolved Oxygen on Fishery		47
11	Flow Augmentation for Nutrient Control		50
12	Flow Requirement for Control of Nutrients in
Existing Sewage Treatment Plant Effluents		56
13	Alternative Plans for Mitigation of Water Quality
Problems, With Project Conditions		59
14	Alternative Plans for Mitigation of Water Quality
Problems, Without Project Conditions		61
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
No.
1	Study Area Location	
2	Study Area	
Page
8
68
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LIST OF FIGURES (Continued)
Figure
No.	Page
3	Monthly Distribution of Annual Flow (Historical)			13
4	Mean Regulated Flow				24
5	Base Flow				25
6	Location of Existing Sewage Treatment Plants		27
7	Nitrogen and Phosphorus Concentrations		40
8	Algal Growth Potential Studies		42
9	Water Quality - Recreation Use Relationship		44
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I. INTRODUCTION
PURPOSE
The Auburn-Folsom South Unit, an authorized facility of the Bureau of
Reclamation's Central Valley Project, is located on the American River
near the city of Sacramento, California (see Figure 1 for location).
Project water will be diverted into the Folsom South Canal to service
areas along the east side of the Central Valley southward to the town
of Escalon. The diversion will increase with time to meet growing
demands for municipal, industrial, and agricultural water needs.
Ultimately, 810,000 acre-feet will be diverted annually. This large
diversion will have a significant impact on the hydrologic regimen of
the river below the diversion structure, Nimbus Dam.
The purpose of the study described in this report is to determine the
impact on water quality of the proposed diversions from the American
River and the measures necessary to minimize resulting adverse effects.
SCOPE
The evaluation has been limited to that part of the American River where
flows will be affected by the proposed diversions, a stretch of the
river from Folsom Dam to its confluence with the Sacramento River near
the city of Sacramento that has been designated the Lower American River
for this study.
The study has been based on existing engineering and economic data and
information from local, State, and Federal agencies. To provide additional
data and information on the lower American River, the Federal Water
Pollution Control Administration (FWPCA) conducted chemical and biological
studies on the river during the summer of 1967.
The study considered the needs for regulation of river flows to control
water quality and the alternatives of advanced waste treatment and
diversion of waste water from the river. The period of study used was
1975-2025 (50 years). Facilities were provided in this study on a
schedule to meet increasing needs up to the 50-year design horizon with
necessary replacements, maintenance, and operation of facilities for a
100-year project economic life.
A preliminary evaluation of the flow regulation needs of the American
River was published in a 1963 report by the U, S. Public Health Service (1).
With the subsequent authorization of the Auburn-Folsom South Unit,
intense local interest has been expressed over the future flow conditions
of the Lower American River, as it became apparent that these major
developments in the basin could drastically alter the hydrologic regimen
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of the lower river and might induce significant changes in the stream
environment. Therefore, reevaluation of the earlier USPHS report is
needed to provide the basis for the Bureau's operation of these CVP
units on the American River.
AUTHORITY
This study of the Lower American River has been made under the authority
of and in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Water Pollution
Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 466 et seq.), and Executive Order
11288, dated July 2, 1966.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The cooperation and assistance of the following Federal and State
agencies and individuals added significantly to this study.
Bureau of Reclamation, Region 2
Department of the Interior
Sacramento, California
Fish and Wildlife Service
Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife
Department of the Interior
Sacramento, California
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Department of the Interior
San Francisco, California
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
State of California
Sacramento, California
Department of Fish and Game
State of California
Sacramento, California
Professor L. Horn
Sacramento State College
Sacramento, California
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II. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
FINDINGS
1.	The Bureau of Reclamation's American River developments for the
Central Valley Project (CVP) consist of Auburn, Folsom, and Nimbus
Dams and the Folsom South Canal. Folsom and Nimbus Dams were
completed in 1955 and the other two facilities were authorized in
1965 for construction.
2.	The watershed of the American River is composed of 1900 square
miles of drainage area located in the Sierra Nevada northeast of
Sacramento, California. From Folsom Dam to the confluence of the
American with the Sacramento River, the local area draining to the
Lower American River is 120 square miles, largely within the
metropolitan Sacramento area.
3.	The average annual runoff of the American River at Fair Oaks
(below Nimbus Dam) is slightly more than 2,700,000 acre-feet. A
large part of this annual flow occurs during the wet season,
November through April.
4.	The planned diversion of American River water into the Folsom
South Canal will ultimately reach 810,000 acre-feet annually.
This diversion will significantly alter the natural hydrologic
regimen of the Lower American River below Nimbus Dam.
5.	The economy of the study area is diversified, with important indus-
trial, financial, commercial, transporation, governmental, and mil-
itary establishments in the metropolitan area. Construction, service,
trade, and agriculture are significant parts of the economy.
6.	Domestic, industrial, and agricultural water supply of the study
area is derived from the Sacramento River, American River, and
the local ground-water basin.
7.	The salmon, striped bass, trout, shad, and other fisheries are an
important natural resource of the Lower American River. The
American River Parkway, extending along both banks of the river up
to Folsom Dam, provides major recreational opportunities to the
metropolitan population of Sacramento.
8.	Municipal and Industrial wastes are treated and discharged to the
Lower American River, to percolation ponds, or to the Sacramento
River. At present, 18 sewage treatment plants of various sizes are
located in the study area and 6 discharge to the American River.
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9. The present mineral quality of the American River is excellent,
containing low total dissolved solids and hardness. It is suit-
able for all domestic, industrial, and agricultural purposes. The
quality of the ground water in the Lower American River Basin is
also good. Water quality problems related to waste discharge in the
Lower American River are minimal under present operational schedules
of Folsom and Nimbus Dams.
CONCLUSIONS
1.	The study area population is predicted to increase from 585,000 to
about 3, 230,000 by 2025. Sewage treatment plants discharging to
the Lower American River presently serve a population of 131,000
but these facilities are expected to be enlarged to provide service
to a population of 625,000 by 2025.
2.	Under the proposed release schedule from Nimbus Dam, sewage effluent
will form a significant portion of the river flow during summer
conditions by the 2025 level of development. The total dissolved
solids and hardness of the city of Sacramento water supply will be
significantly increased by the sewage effluent; however, total
dissolved solids concentrations will meet the U.S. Public Health
Service Drinking Water Standards and the Regional Water Quality
Control Board policy for the river.
3.	The amount of sewage effluent discharged to the Lower American River
is predicted to increase from the 1965 level of 12 mgd to about 80
mgd by 2025. The total BOD5 load into the river will increase from
3,300 pounds per day to about 19,000 pounds per day in the same
period.
4.	Despite the reduction in stream flow by the proposed diversions from
the river above Nimbus Dam, the projected organic waste loads will
not in themselves significantly reduce dissolved oxygen levels in
the American River.
5.	The total annual nitrogen load reaching the Lower American River
will increase from 1,100,000 to about 4,700,000 pounds by 2025. Over
the same period, the annual phosphorus load will increase from
290,000 to about 1,260,000 pounds.
6.	Algal growth potential (AGF) studies of river water demonstrated
that increased percentages of sewage effluent in the river water
will result in significant stimulation of algal growth.
7.	Projected nutrient loading of the river combined with planned
diversions will cause excessive aquatic growths which will result
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in dissolved oxygen problems. Recommended nitrogen and phos-
phorus objectives will be exceeded during a significant part of
each year by 2000.
8.	The relationship between excessive aquatic growths in the river
and its recreation potential indicates that recreation activities
will be impaired by diminishing the river flow and expected
nutrient loading by the year 2000. Present worth (1975)/of this
loss of potential recreation resource was determined to be
$10,853 million over a 100-year evaluation period. The average
annual value of the lost potential would be $505,000 over the
same period.
9.	The excessive stimulation of algae and rooted aquatic plants can
be expected to cause severe nocturnal depression of dissolved
oxygen. Such fluctuations will lower oxygen content below the
minimum acceptable level for the river and cause impairment of
the fishery. Detriments estimated to have a present worth of
$8,423,000 will result from reductions in angler-use and commercial
fishery income. This is equivalent to an annual detriment of
$393,867 over a 100-year evaluation period.
10.	Without the proposed project, the future nutrient load into the
Lower American River will also cause excessive aquatic growths and
dissolved oxygen problems. Maximum recommended nitrogen and
phosphorus levels which result in minimum acceptable water quality
will be exceeded during the dry summer months beginning under 1975
loading conditions and excessive concentrations are expected under
the 2025 level of development. Thus, nutrient concentrations
(nitrogen) would exceed the value included in the present policy
of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. How-
ever, adequate flow would be available during the winter and spring
runoff period. Present worth (1975) of the loss of potential
recreation use was estimated to be about $11,385 million over a
100-year evaluation period, and the average annual value would be
$540,000 over the same period. Severe nocturnal depression of
dissolved oxygen can be expected to cause fishery losses. These
losses are o the same order of magnitude as those expected under
project conditions. Thus, the impact of the future nutrient load
on both recreation use and fishery use without the project is
about the same as under project diversion conditions.
11.	Various solutions to the expected water quality problems were
examined, i.e. advanced waste treatment, control of waste
a/ Present worth is computed to the base year, 1975.
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constituient concentrations by regulating stream flows, diversion
of waste flows to the Sacramento River, reuse of waste effluents
for irrigation of park lands and combinations of one or more of
these methods. Diversion of future incremental waste flows com-
bined with maximum reuse of existing effluents for irrigation
appears to be the most effective and least costly solution, having
an equivalent annual cost of $296,000.
12. The diversion of water to irrigation service areas can have
detrimental effects on the water quality of the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta as a result of increased consumptive use of water
and the generation of additional wastes in the return flows.
These water quality detriments can be minimized by maintaining
adequate circulation of water within the Delta and outflow to San
Francisco Bay, It is necessary, therefore, that the Bureau of
Reclamation operate the Auburn-Folsom South Unit in conjunction
with all other units of the Central Valley Project and the State
Department of Water Resources operate the State Water Project in
a manner which will avoid deterioration of water quality in the
Delta. Water quality levels to be maintained in the Delta have
been established in accordance with the Federal Water Quality Act
of 1965. These water quality standards provide the necessary
operating criteria for the operation of the Central Valley Project.
RECOMMENDATIONS
1.	The City of Sacramento, Sacramento County and other local agencies
should take early action to develop a comprehensive sewerage plan
for protecting water quality in the Lower American River. The
diversion of future waste flows from the river and the reuse of
secondary effluent from existing sewage treatment plants for
irrigation of the American River Parkway should be examined in
detail as a potential solution. The State Water Resources Control
Board through the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control
Board should stimulate the development and implementation of a
coordinated water quality management plan for the Lower American
River. The findings of the State's San Francisco Bay-Delta Water
Quality Control Program should provide useful guidance in develop-
ing such a plan.
2.	The Bureau of Reclamation should coordinate with local and State
agencies the schedule for the releases of water to the Lower
American River as part of an optimum plan for the preservation of
water quality in the river.
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III. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
A description of major units of the Central Valley Project (CVP)
located in or planned for the American River basin is helpful as
background information for this study.
Auburn Dam, the farthest upstream structure, will be located near
the confluence of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American
River (see Figure 1). It will provide flood control storage, hydro-
electric power, irrigation, and municipal and industrial (M&I) water
supplies. It will also include provisions to enhance fishery and
wildlife resources, to prevent damage to these resources, and to
develop recreational opportunities. The proposed Auburn Dam will
be a thin-arch concrete structure located in Placer County near the
city of Auburn, about 35 miles northeast of Sacramento, the state
capital. A 2,300,000-acre-foot reservoir will be impounded behind
the 690-foot-high dam located in a narrow canyon. The dam crest
will extend 3,500 feet, the longest thin-arch dam in the world
when completed.
At maximum level, the surface of the reservoir will provide about
10,000 acres of recreational water area. Under proposed operating
schedules, a recreation and fishery pool of at least 600,000 acre-
feet will be maintained, except during drought years when the minimum
pool will be reduced if necessary to meet CVP demands.
Flood control storage of 450,000 acre-feet will be reserved for the
peak winter and spring runoffs; this space will be used for conser-
vation storage after the spring flood season. The reservoir will
provide water for a 300,000-kw powerhouse, with future expansions
to 750,000 kw and, in addition, will yield about 300,000 acre-feet
of water annually for agricultural and M&I .purposes.
Folsom and Nimbus Dams, located downstream from the Auburn Dam site,
(see Figures 1 and 2), were completed in 1955 by the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, respectively, for flood
control, hydroelectric power generation, and water conservatipn
purposes. These units are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and
conservation yields are utilized in the Central Valley Project. Nimbus
Dam forms Lake Natoma, a regulation reservoir for hydroelectric power
releases from Folsom Reservoir which will also serve as a diversion
structure for the Folsom South Canal. Below Nimbus Dam, a fish hatchery,
constructed under the Folsom Dam Project as a fishery mitigation
measure, is funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and operated by the
California Department of Fish and Game.
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The Folsom South Canal will divert water from Lake Natoma southward
in a 67-mile concrete-lined canal to Lone Tree Creek near Escalon
in San Joaquin County. Ultimately, the canal will divert 810,000
acre-feet of water annually for use on about 518,000 acres of farm-
land in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties and for M&I water supply
in the service area. Present plans schedule the diversion only from
Nimbus Dam to the Folsom South Canal. The total diversion will be
derived from the combined operation of the Auburn and Folsom Reserv-
oirs.
The extension of the Folsom South Canal along the Sierra Nevada foot-
hills of the San Joaquin Valley southward for about 325 miles to
Bakersfield, California, is under investigation by the Bureau of
Reclamation. An extension of the canal, called the East Side Canal,
is planned to ultimately divert about 4,000,000 acre-feet annually
from the Sacramento River through the Hood-Clay pump connection. A
large portion of this Sacramento River water will be derived from the
north coastal basins of California. Although the East Side Division
of the CVP is currently under study, preliminary evaluations were so
promising that authorization has been given to design the Folsom South
Canal south of the Hood-Clay pump connection (see Figure 1) with
capacity sufficient to accommodate the future flow requirements of
the East Side Canal.
With the construction of the Auburn-Folsom South Unit of the CVP, the
hydrologic regimen of the American River will be under almost complete
control by man-made developments. Construction of this project has
been approved and authorized by the U.S. Congress and preparation of
final project plans are progressing under the direction of the Bureau
of Reclamation.
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IV. STUDY AREA DESCRIPTION
LOCATION AND BOUNDARIES
The Lower American River study area encompasses the drainage basin of
the American River from Folsom Dam to the confluence with the Sacramento
River near the city of Sacramento. The entire drainage basin of the
American River comprises about 1,900 square miles of watershed (see
Figure 1). That portion of the basin immediately tributary to the
Lower American River below Folsom Dam contains only about 120 square
miles (see Figure 2, a foldout in the rear of the report). Within
the study area are several major drainage channels which flow parallel
to the American River and discharge into the Sacramento River. These
include the Natomas East Main Drainage Canal, Dry Creek (north), Magpie
Creek, Arcade Creek, Cripple Creek, Morrison Creek, and Elder Creek.
The study area is approximately the north half of Sacramento County,
one of the more populous areas in California.
The principal community in the study area is the city of Sacramento,
which is surrounded by many suburban communities that form its metro-
politan area. Among these are Carmichael, Fair Oaks, and Rancho Cordova.
Other large communities include Folsom, McClellan Air Force Base, and
Mather Air Force Base.
The topography of the Lower American River is composed of rolling hills
descending from the Lower Sierra Nevada and plains sloping westward from
the city of Folsom to the valley flatlands near Sacramento. The terrain
near Folsom and Nimbus Dams is broken by large areas of dredger tailings,
the remains of extensive gold mining operations, composed of large
boulders covered in some places with a thin mantle of top soil. Little
progress has been made so far in reclaiming these tailing areas for
useful purposes.
Aside from the tailings, the foothills have a moderate cover of woodland,
principally oak trees, and a heavy cover of low scrub and grass. Dry-
land farming and livestock grazing are the principal agricultural
activities of the Sierra foothills. Near Sacramento, the valley supports
growths of oak and brush, while willow, cottonwood, and tules grow along
and near the river and its tributary creeks. Agriculture in the area
consists primarily of field and row crops, pasture, and fruit orchards.
GEOLOGY
The oldest rocks in the foothills, pre-Cretaceous, form the core of the
Sierra Nevada. Tertiary and Quaternary formations, which are located
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under the flatlands near Sacramento, overlie the older rocks. Typical
alluvial and marine sediments resting upon the base rocks are in some
places up to 2,000 feet thick. The sediments form an extensive ground-
water basin which extends toward the tidal waters of the Sacramento
River Delta.
CLIMATE
Typical of the Central Valley of California, the climate of the Lower
American River study area is one of cool winters and long, hot, dry
summers. The annual average temperature is about 61F with a mean daily
minimum of 38F in January and a mean daily maximum of 92 in July.
Daily temperatures frequently exceed 1008F during the summer but the
winters are generally mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below
20F. Mean annual precipitation is about 17 inches. Approximately 85
percent of the normal rainfall occurs between November and April.
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V. WATER RESOURCES OF THE STUDY AREA
SURFACE WATER
The average annual runoff of the American River for the 61-year period
1904-1965, has been slightly above 2,700,000 acre-feet at the Fair Oaks
gaging station (2), which is situated a short distance downstream from
Nimbus Dam. The lowest annual runoff past this point was 530,000 acre-
feet, during the 1923-24 water year. A peak discharge of 180,000 cubic
feet per second was recorded during the flood of November 1950 and an
historic low discharge of 4 cfs was recorded in August 1924. During the
most severe flood of recent times (December 1955), a peak discharge of
220,000 cfs into Folsom Reservoir was recorded. Fortunately, the
ample storage space in the reservoir, which had just been placed in
operation, contained the potentially damaging flows.
About 60 percent of the annual flow occurs during the rainy season,
November through April, and this runoff period is extended by the spring
snowmelt to about May. The monthly distribution of the historic
annual flow of the American River from 1905-1954 is shown in Figure 3.
The historic flow pattern has been markedly influenced by Folsom Dam
and will be further modified by the proposed Auburn Dam and diversions
into the Folsom South Canal.
GROUND WATER
The extensive alluvial sand, gravel, and clay deposits lying between
the foothills and the Sacramento River form an important ground-water
basin which is fed by precipitation and surface runoff in the American
River and tributary streams.
In the gravel deposits along the banks of the river, the ground-water
table is contiguous with the water in the river. During periods of high
runoff, the river feeds these gravel deposits. When stream flow is low,
the process is reversed.
In the alluvial deposits near the Sacramento and American Rivers, the
water table lies within 10 feet of the ground surface, while near the
foothills of Folsom, the ground-water table lies about 100 feet below
the surface. The general ground-water movement is southwest towards
the Sacramento River and the Sacramento River Delta. The U. S. Geological
Survey (3) estimates the total storage capacity of the entire alluvial
fill on the north and south sides of the river near Sacramento to be
about 3,600,000 acre-feet.
In recent years, the extensive use of ground water in the study area
has caused & general lowering of the water table, notably in areas south
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40

o
<
3
Z
2
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H
O
H
Monthly Distribution of Annual Flow
AmeriCdn River
at Fair Oaks
190 5  I 9 54
30
o
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z
LlI
O
Ol.
LlI
a.
M A
MONTH

LOWER AMERICAN RIVER STUDY

MONTHLY DISTRIBUTION

OF ANNUAL FLOW
(Historical)

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ADMINISTRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION SAN FRANCISCO, CALI F
13	Figure 3

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of the river where large withdrawals have occurred. The California
Deparment of Water Resources (4) estimates that about 70,000 acre-feet
is withdrawn here annually for municipal, industrial, and irrigation
uses. When American River water is exported southward, the local over-
draft conditions will be relieved and the ground-water level is expect-
ed to be restored.
QUALITY OF SURFACE AND GROUND WATER
From records of water quality analyses, it has been found that the
mineral quality of the American River is excellent. Total dissolved
solids and chloride concentrations are minimal and hardness is low.
The water is generally calcium-bicarbonate in character and is suit-
able for almost all purposes. The range of constituents found in
water samples collected from the American River near Sacramento by
the Department of Water Resources (5) from 1951 to 1961 are shown in
Table 1. Since 1956, when Folsom Dam began to regulate flow, the
quality of water has been more uniform and has not reflected the vari-
ations in stream flows that have caused previous seasonal quality
changes. Thus, the maximum values shown were associated with samples
collected before Folsom Dam was completed in 1955. The maximum con-
centrations of chemical constituents are within the limits recommend-
ed in the U. S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards (6).
Over the same ten years, dissolved oxygen samples showed a range of
saturation from 59 to 124 percent. The oxygen deficit samples indicate
the presence of organic pollutants and/or algal respiration, while the
saturated samples are the result of algal photosynthetic activity.
According to measurements of the U. S. Geological Survey (7), the mean
annual surface water temperature of the river varies from 55 to 59F.
A maximum temperature of 81F was recorded in July and August 1954, and
a minimum of 32 F was recorded in November 1957 and November 1958.
The average annual sediment production rate of the American River above
the proposed Auburn Reservoir was estimated by the Bureau of Reclamation
(8) to be about 0.38 acre-feet per.square mile of drainage area. It is
expected that settling in both Auburn and Folsom reservoirs will reduce
the downstream sediment load. Turbidity samples (JCU) ranged from 140
down to 0. The higher turbidities were recorded before Folsom Dam was
built.
Since the characteristics of ground water and surface water in the study
area are similar, the ground water is also considered excellent for all
purposes. Generally, its mineral concentration is higher than that of
the surface water. The range of constituents found in 200 samples of
well water collected by the Department of Water Resources (4) from 1952
to 1963 is shown also in Table 1. The maximum concentrations are generally
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TABLE 1 - WATER QUALITY LOWER AMERICAN RIVER BASIN
RANGE OF CONCENTRATIONS
CONCENTRATIONS (MINIMUM TO MAXIMUM)
CONSTITUENTS	-	-					

SURFACE WATER
GROUND WATER
Silica
6.9-15
5.6-64
Calcium
3.4-12
6.2-63
Magnesium
0.7-5.5
0.5-36
Sodium
1.1-5.1
4.7-27
Potassium
0.1-1.3
0.0-7.3
Carbonate
0-0
---
Bicarbonate
16-54
38-322
Sulfate
0.0-4.7
0-35
Chloride
0.0-10
1.0-87
Fluoride
0.0-0.2
0.0-2.8
Nitrate
0.0-0.9
0.0-48
Boron
0.00-0.17
0.00-0.22
Total Dissolved Solids
17-91
73-405
Total Hardness(as CaC03>
10-50
23-288
Specific Conductance
(Michromhos at 25C)
24-129
94-658
pH units
6.7-8.3
6.2-8.5
Temperature, F
41-81
51-72
Dissolved Oxygen
Percent Saturation
5.3-14.2
59-124
---
Turbidity 
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associated with the few wells located near waste effluent percolation
ponds. These well waters are not typical and do not reflect the
generally excellent ground-water quality of the area. The chemical
constituents of almost all well waters are within the limits recommended
in the U. S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards (6).
16

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VI. ECONOMY
PAST AND PRESENT
The economy of the study area is diversified. Industrial, financial,
commercial, State and Federal government, and military establishments
center in or near the city of Sacramento, supported by agricultural
activity in the surrounding farmlands. Three major military install-
ations are located near Sacramento: McClellan Air Force Base, 10
miles northeast, Mather Air Force Base, about 12 miles east, and the
U. S, Army Signal Depot, at the southeastern boundary of the city.
Employing over 45,000 civilians and 12,000 assigned military personnel,
these installations contribute significantly to the local economy.
Sacramento is the financial, commercial, wholesale distribution, and
government center of Sacramento Valley. In recent years, industrial
developments have gained importance. The large rocket and missile
research and manufacturing firms established in the early 1950's have
made major contributions to industrial growth and they in turn have
attracted many allied subcontracting firms to the area. Employment
in the rocket and missile industry alone was at one time more than
20,000, although personnel have been reduced because of completion
of major missile contracts. Product diversification by the missile
firms is expected to reverse the decline. Because of highly productive
agriculture in the valley, the food processing industry has always
been a strong element in the economy. The processing of a wide variety
of agricultural crops produced from the rich farmlands has employed a
peak of nearly 7,000 workers.
Following closely the rapid growth of the state, the Sacramento area
has also grown steadily. Major factors contributing to this expansion
include a large supply of labor, expanding markets, excellent trans-
portation (including a deep-water channel for ocean-going vessels), a
ready supply of raw materials, and an abundant supply of inexpensive
water.
Although many acres of farmland have been converted to commercial-
residential developments in recent years, agriculture is expected to
remain an important industry of the area. It is estimated that there
are more than 225,000 acres of land in Sacramento County used for
farming, a large part of which lies outside the study area in the Delta
and the Cosusmes River basin. The most important crops are corn,
tomatoes, hops, alfalfa, sugar beets, and pears; cattle and sheep
raising are also important agricultural enterprises. The cash value
of all farm products sold in Sacramento County during 1964 (9) was
about $65,916,000.
17

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A recent review of economic progress in Sacramento County shows that
growth of industrial and commercial-residential developments has made
the greatest impact. The 1959 employment distribution is shown in
Table 2. As indicated, military and government activities account for
the largest employment (over 30 percent), followed by manufacturing
and retail trade. Although Table 2 shows employment for the whole
county, only a small portion (about 7,000) of this total is located
outside the study area.
FUTURE
The national trend toward sprawling metropolitan centers has also been
illustrated by the growth of Sacramento. The continuous expansion of
industry and associated residential development in Sacramento is
expected to outpace California's rate of growth, which is projected to
exceed the national average. Studies made by Sacramento County in
1965 and 1967 (11) predicted concentrated industrial and residential
growth to the south and east of the city, and residential develop-
ments in regions to the north and east of the Sacramento and American
rivers. Since the Delta area of the county will remain primarily
agricultural oriented,population growth there will be less spectacular.
To evaluate the waste load from the study area, projections of county
and study area populations have been made to the year 2025 (see Table 3).
For the same period, the tributary population contributing waste to the
Lower American River is also shown. This population follows closely the
predictions made by a recent sewerage survey (12) for a master plan of
the study area. It should be noted that the city of Sacramento, a large
populous area situated north of the American River, and a large area south
of the city are served by treatment plants that discharge effluents into
the Sacramento River rather than into the American River. Also, in areas
southeast of the city, existing sewage treatment plants discharge efflu-
ents into creeks that are tributary to the delta. Thus, the population
contributing waste loads to the American River constitutes only a portion
of the total study area population.
18

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TABLE 2 - EMPLOYMENT DISTRIBUTION, 1959 SACRAMENTO COUNTY V
EMPLOYED
NUMBER	PERCENT
Government
Civilian
44,800
24.2
Military
12,615
6.9
Retail Trade
23,000
12.4
Wholesale Trade
6,800
3.7
Manufacturing
24,300
13.2
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate
5,650
3.1
Transportation and Utilities
12,000
6.5
Contract Construction
11,000
5.8
Schools and Hospitals
13,400
7.3
Services
12,200
6.6
Agriculture
6,000
3.3
Mining and Agricultural Services
750
0.5
Self-employment
12,000
6.5
Total
184,515
100.0
a/ U. S. Bureau of Census, 1960 (10).
19

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TABLE 3 - POPULATION PROJECTIONS LOWER AMERICAN RIVER BASIN
1965	1975	2000	2025
Sacramento County 600,000	800,000	1,969,000	3,400,000
Study Area 585,000	780,000	1,920,000	3,230,000
Areas Tributary to .
Lower American River^' 131,000	225,000	450,000	625,000
a/ Areas discharging to sewage treatment plants with outfalls on the
Lower American River.
20

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VII. WATER REQUIREMENTS - MUNICIPAL, INDUSTRIAL,
AGRICULTURAL, FISHERY, AND RECREATION
PAST AND PRESENT WATER USES
Municipal and industrial water supplies are derived from the ground
water and surface waters of the Sacramento River and the American River.
The city of Sacramento has two filtration plants with a total capacity
of 100 mgd drawing water from the Sacramento River. To meet the needs
of the city, these plants are supplemented by numerous wells and by the
addition in 1964 of a new 70 mgd filtration plant that diverts water from
the Lower American River at River Mile 7.6 (see Figure 2). Outside the
city numerous private and public water agencies obtain water from both
ground and surface water sources to serve the remainder of the study area
such as Rio Linda, Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova. The
Carmichael Irrigation District also draws surface water from the Lower
American River to supplement well water for municipal, industrial, and
agricultural purposes.
As might be expected in the hot, dry Sacramento Valley, the present per
capita water use (270 gpd) in the study area exceeds the average of the
state and the nation. The annual municipal use is about 177,000 acre-
feet. Of this amount, only about 50,000 acre-feet are withdrawn from
the Lower American River, mainly by the city of Sacramento, and the
remainder is derived from the ground-water system, the Sacramento River,
and minor diversions from the American River above Folsom Reservoir.
Irrigation water is used extensively for a variety of field crops,
row crops, and orchards. Within the study area, three irrigation
districts (Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, and Carmichael) have been organ-
ized to serve agricultural lands. In addition to these organized water
groups, many farmers operate individual well and distribution systems
to meet their local needs. For the area south and southeast of Sacra-
mento, the Department of Water Resources (4) estimates an annual with-
drawal of about 70,000 acre-feet from wells, mainly for agricultural
purposes. Because ground water north and northeast of the city is less
available, agriculture is supported principally by surface diversions
from the Sacramento River and from the American River above Folsom Dam,
It is estimated that about 120,000 acre-feet are used annually for
agriculture in the north and northeast areas.
Within the drainage basin of the Lower American Riyer, agricultural
water use is limited to an estimated 5,000 acre-feet annually diverted
by the Carmichael Irrigation District near Carmichael. Other diver-
sions are made by farmers, but these are small and are diminishing as
21

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agricultural land is transferred to urban development. Thus, although
the total water consumed annually for agriculture in the entire study
area is about 190,000 acre-feet, only a little more than 5,000 acre-
feet is withdrawn from the Lower American River. In addition to the
above consumptive water uses, the Lower American River supports impor-
tant fisheries and intensive recreational uses.
FUTURE WATER USES
In the study area, the present per capita water use of 270 gpd is ex-
pected to increase to 300 gpd by 2025, the end of the study period.
The increase is based on an extension of past trends, which are attri-
buted to the rise in the standard of living. Municipal and industrial
water requirements will be about 1.18 million acre-feet by 2025. Only
about 245,000 acre-feet will be withdrawn from the Lower American River
by the city of Sacramento. To meet their diversion schedule of the
river, the city has entered into a water-supply contract with the Bureau
of Reclamation who regulates releases from Nimbus Dam. The remainder
of the projected municipal and industrial water supply needs in the
study area will be obtained from the ground-water basins, from the
American River above Folsom Dam, and from the Sacramento River.
Commensurate with commercial-residential expansion into the farmlands
of the study area, less agricultural water use will be needed. The
Sacramento County Planning Department (11) has projected that the
present agricultural enterprises will be supplanted almost entirely
by commercial-residential developments of metropolitan Sacramento by
2025. Minor farming activities remaining in the foothills to the
northeast and boundary areas to the southeast will be supplied with
irrigation water from Folsom Reservoir.
To meet requirements for a fishery in the Lower American River and the
State of California fish hatchery located immediately downstream from
Nimbus Dam, minimum releases from Lake Natoma are maintained under an
agreement between the California Department of Fish and Game and the
Bureau of Reclamation. It was agreed to maintain a minimum flow of
500 cfs in the Lower American River during the salmon spawning season,
September through December, and 250 cfs for the remainder of the year.
Provisions were included to reduce these minimum releases during
drought years in accordance with schedules furnished by the Bureau of
Reclamation. Future plans in the area indicate that the recreational
uses of the river will expand and will be an important use of the
river water. Under the project the important fisheries will be main-
tained to provide recreation to a large metropolitan population and
for commercial purposes
22

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With increasing demands in the Folsom South Canal service area, the
present releases into the Lower American River from Nimbus Dam will
decrease correspondingly. In accordance with operation studies fur-
nished by the Bureau of Reclamation, the mean releases from Nimbus Dam
by 2019 will be as shown in Figure 4. These releases will be further
reduced by withdrawals at the Sacramento City water intake. The re-
duced flows in the lower stretch of the river are also shown on
Figure 4. The regulated flow shown does not include returns from
agricultural and municipal uses.
Review of the historical river flow records shows that the American
River exhibits the extreme fluctuations in annual discharge typical of
the runoff pattern from Sierra Nevada streams. Therefore, to provide
a basis for determining requirements for flow regulation in the Lower
American River, an annual flow which was exceeded in nine out of 10
years was selected to describe the water quality conditions anticipated
in low-flow years. A review of historical records shows that the dis-
charge of the 1939 water year ranked at the 10th percentile of all of
the water years of record and therefore was chosen as a basis for des-
cribing probable water quality conditions during low-flow years. The
unregulated total discharge at Fair Oaks was 1,086,000 acre-feet dur-
ing that water year,with a peak discharge of 5,203 cfs occurring in
April 1940. The monthly regulated releases during this year under
the 2019 design state of development have been computed by the Bureau
of Reclamation and are shown in Figure 5, together with the flows
downstream from the city water intake system. According to the Bureau
of Reclamation operation studies, a total of 1,250,000 acre-feet will
be released from Nimbus Dam during this year at the 2019 level of devel-
opment and 810,000 acre-feet will be diverted to the Folsom South Canal.
Below the city water system intake, a monthly mean flow of 500 cfs or
less will be experienced 75 percent of the months and a flow of 250
cfs or less in 25 percent of the months during the base-flow year.
23

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mwmS
>\VA
:x-
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER STUDY
MEAN REGULATED FLOW
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ADMINISTRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION	SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
32 0 0
3000 -
2800 -
2600 -
Regulated Flow
Ultimate Project Development,
Auburn-Folsom-South Project
IXXXxj Below Nim bus Dam
l"WW\ Be,ow Sacramento
City Intake
M A
MONTH
2400
(A 2200
U.
0
1	2000

o
^ 1800
O
 1600
<
O 1400
UJ
a:
z 1200
<
UJ
3 iooo

-------
sooo-r
7000 -
6000
5000 -
to
ll.
u
I
$
o
4 000- -
3000 -
2000 -
000 -
Below Sacramento
City Intake

wskssr &~?<&?< ~?~?~?
MONTH
Base flow is annual flow
exceeded in 90 percent of record
and Is represented by the
1939 water year.
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER STUDY
BASE FLOW
ULTIMATE LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ADMINISTRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION SAN FRANCISCO CALIF.
25
F i gure 5

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VIII. WATER QUALITY CONTROL
SOURCES OF WASTE WATER
Domestic arid industrial wastes in the study area are treated at 18
sewage treatment plants and effluents discharged into the Sacramento
River, the American River, or percolation ponds. Location and data
on these plants are shown in Figure 6 and Table 4.
The largest sewage treatment plant, which serves the city of Sacra-
mento, provides primary treatment of domestic and industrial wastes
and discharges effluent into the Sacramento River. Under a plan
scheduled for completion in 1969, the present capacity (70 mgd) of
this plant will be expanded to about 95 mgd for secondary treatment.
The suburban areas of Sacramento are served presently by many smaller
plants operated by Sacramento County. The largest of these are the
Arden Plant (recently expanded to 10 mgd), the Northeast Plant (lOmgd),
and the Cordova Plant (4mgd), all of which discharge into the Lower
American River.
To the east, the City of Folsom treatment facilities discharge effluent
to porous percolation ponds located in dredger tailings near Lake
Natoma and Folsom State Prison discharges its effluent into a ditch
leading to Lake Natoma.
Three military installations are served by separate treatment plants
operated by each of them. The largest plant which discharges a
mixture of domestic-industrial waste into Magpie Creek is located at
McClellan Air Force Base.
The Aerojet-General Corporation provides secondary treatment to its
industrial and domestic wastes before discharging to Buffalo Creek, a
tributary of the Lower American River. Two wineries, three olive
processing plants, and several large fruit and vegetable canneries are
located within the study area. Their wastes are discharged to municipal
sanitary sewers.
Eighteen sewage treatment plants are located in the study area (see
Figure 6). These plants serve about 450,000 people and discharge a
total daily flow of about 85 mgd. Five of these plants discharge
effluent directly into the Lower American River and one (Folsom City)
discharges effluent into porous percolation beds near the south bank of
the American River. Thus, the present (1968) total discharge into
the flowing waters of the Lower American River is slightly greater than
12 mgd. The remaining 73 mgd from the study area is discharged to the
Sacramento River, to its tributaries, or to percolation ponds or beds.
26

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PAGE NOT
AVAILABLE
DIGITALLY

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TABLE 4 - WASTE TREATMENT FACILITIES LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
1969
PLANT
NO. LOCATION
TYPE OF
TREATMENT
DESIGN
FLOW
(mgd)
DISCHARGE
POINT
1.
Natomas Sanitation District
S
3.50
Natomas E. Canal
2.
Rio Linda Co. Water District
S
0.50
Dry Creek
3.
McClellan Air Force Base
S
2.00
Magpie Creek
4.
Highland Estates
S
0.55
Dry Creek
5.
County Sanitary Dist. No. 6
S
3.34
Magpie Creek
6.
Arden W.Q. Control Plant
S
10.00
American River
7.
Northeast W.Q.Control Plant
S
10.00
American River
8.
Arden Gold S. M. District
S
0.25
Dredger Tailings
Pond
9.
Folsom State Prison
S
0.85
American River
10.
City of Folsom
S
0.46
Dredger Tailings
Pond
U.
Aerojet-General Corporation
S
0.33
Buffalo Creek
12.
Cordova W.Q. Control Plant
S
4.00
American River
13.
Mather Air Force Base
S
1.50
Morrison Creek
14.
Manlove S. M. District
S
1.25
Morrison Creek
15.
U. S. Army Signal Depot
S
1.25
Morrison Creek
16.
City of Sacramento
p
70.00
Sacramento River
17.
Meadowview Plant
s
0.22
Sacramento River
18.
Central W. Q. Control Plant
s
10.00
Sacramento River
/ S  Secondary treatment
P  Primary treatment
28

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It is estimated that about 15 percent of the study area population is
served by septic tanks and leaching fields which do not contribute any
liquid waste directly to surface waters.
Future waste loads are expected to be increased by the expanding com-
mercial-residential populations of the metropolitan Sacramento area.
A preliminary study in 1959 by DeWante-Stowell (12), consultants for
Sacramento County, included recommendations for expansion of existing
treatment facilities and construction of new treatment plants. The
master plan for the locations of treatment facilities is shown on
Figure 6.
Under the sewerage master plan, the entire study area will be served
by seven large central treatment plans and five small treatment plants.
For economy many existing smaller plants will be taken out of service
and their collection areas will be served by the more efficient large
central plants that exist or planned for the future. The trend toward
central plants serving large areas will result in considerable economy
in capital investment and maintenance, replacement, and operation costs.
In a report (13) prepared for the California Department of Public Health,
the Aerojet-General Corporation analyzed waste management systems,
using systems analysis techniques. With the Sacramento metropolitan
area as a model, the Aerojet study stressed the point that significant
economies could be achieved by constructing large master collection
systems with central treatment plants rather than a diversity of
smaller plants located throughout the service area.
Under the 2025 plan of development, the sewerage system of the study
area will serve a population of 3,230,000. It is estimated that the
total volume of effluent from sewage treatment plants serving this
population will be about 405 mgd. However, under the Master Plan,
only five plants treating less than 20 percent of the basin effluent
will discharge to the Lower American River basin. Four of these will
discharge effluent to surface waters of the river, while the Folsom
City plant will continue to discharge to percolation ponds near Lake
Natoma.
The future waste loads from these five plants were determined and are
presented in Table 5. As indicated, the total 5-day BOD load dis-
charged to the river will increase from about 3,300 pounds per day to
about 19,000 pounds per day in 2025.
To evaluate these loads, an average reduction of 85 percent of BOD by
secondary treatment processes was assumed. Greater BOD reduction can
be achieved by modern sewage treatment plants but allowance must be
made for organic loads from the local surface drainage systems which will
29

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TAB IE 5 - PROJECTED WASTE LOADING LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
1965	1975	2000	2025
TREATMENT	FLOW BOD5 FLOW BOD5 FLOW BOD5 FLOW BOD5
PLANT	mgd lb/day mgd lb/day mgd lb/day mgd lb/day
Arden
4.0
1270
5.5
1485
7.5
2150
13.5
3240
Cordova
2.0
508
3.0
810
5.0
1425
8.8
2130
Northeast
5.0
1270
10.0
2700
24.0
6850
40.8
9780
Aeroj e t-Genera1
Corporation
0.3
76
0.5
135
2.0
670
3.8
900
Folsom City
0.5
130
3.0
810
6.5
1850
11.2
2700
Folsom State ^
Prison
0.5
89
0.7
135
mm 
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be treated. Even during the hot, dry summer months, numerous drains
were observed with running water, mainly from irrigation return to the
river. Significant organic loads can be brought into the river by these
return flows from residential lawns and agricultural land. By select-
ing an 85 percent reduction in organic load to the treatment plants,
liberal allowance is thereby given to these untreated drainage wastes,
thus reflecting more closely the organic load on the river.
WATER QUALITY REQUIREMENTS
Recognition of the many beneficial uses of Lower American River water
is a prerequisite to establishing water quality objectives. The Lower
American River is a vital source of irrigation and M&I water. The
city of Sacramento withdraws large quantities of M&I water from the
Lower American River. This withdrawal is predicted to increase to
meet demands of future populations. In addition, the Carmichael Irrig-
ation District diverts river water for M&I use and irrigation to supple-
ment their existing ground-water supply. Other small diversions for
water supplies and irrigation needs are made by irrigation districts and
individual farmers.
The Lower American River is a natural spawning area for the king salmon,
which provides a river sport fishery and supports an ocean sport fish-
ery that accounted for an estimated 16,000 angler days in 1966 and a
large commercial harvest. Rainbow trout and steelhead are also commonly
found there, along with a warm water fishery composed of nearly 40
species (14,15). The anadromous striped bass and the American shad are
numerous and very popular with anglers. The California Department of
Fish and Game (15), reports that about 76,000 angler days were spent on
the river in 1966. Besides the fishery, the Lower American River pro-
vides a natural environment for a variety of recreational use, includ-
ing swimming, wading, water skiing, scuba diving, and boating.
Other recreational attractions include sunbathing, picnicking, hiking,
bird watching, camping, sightseeing, and aesthetic enjoyment of the
river environment. Preliminary estimates by the U. S. Bureau of Outdoor
Recreation (16) indicates that annual recreational use of the Lower
American River will increase from a 1973 level of about 2,000,000 recre-
ation-days to about 14,600,000 by 2019. In recognition of the fact that
the Lower American River is an important natural asset to the Sacramento
metropolitan area, a master plan, as proposed by the County Park and
Recreation Department has been approved by the County Board of Super-
visors (11). The plan involves both public and private developments
needed to provide recreational facilities for the growing metropolitan
population, including amusement centers, golf courses, swimming beaches,
marinas, recreation lakes, and nature areas.
Library
usDiNwPCA ~ v'ator Laboratn*	31
200 S. W. 3oth Street
Corvallis, Oregon 9733Q

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Recognizing the value of the river, the Central Valley Regional Water
Quality Control Board (RWQCB) has adopted water quality standards to
regulate waste discharges and to control water quality. In 1959,
Resolutions No. 59-108 and No. 59-109 were adopted by the Regional
Board to provide for the preservation of the water quality of the river
from Folsom Dam to its confluence with the Sacramento River. To up-
date these standards, the Board adopted a water quality control policy,
Resolution No. 68-21, for the Lower American River (Folsom Dam to the
Sacramento River) in September 1967.
The latest water quality policy adopted by the Regional Board contains
several water quality provisions that should be particularly emphasized
in the evaluation of quality control practices. The most important of
these are cited here:
Para. 9. "Bacteriological quality of the River as measured
in terms of most probable number densities of
fecal and standard coliform per 100 milliliters
shall be maintained at levels which do not exceed
historical values."
Para.13. "The dissolved oxygen concentration in the American
River shall be maintained above:
A.	7.0 mg/1 in Lake Natoma and in the reach from
Nimbus Dam to Watt Avenue Bridge.
B.	5.0 mg/1 in the reach from Watt Avenue Bridge
to the Sacramento River."
Para.14. "Total nitrogen content of the River waters shall
be maintained below 1.0 mg/1."
Para.15. "The total dissolved solids concentration of the
River shall not exceed 125 mg/1."
Para.17. "Concentrations of dissolved nutrients shall be
maintained at levels below those which may cause
undesirable algal densities, slime or bacterio-
logical growth, or other undesirable biological
growth,"
It should be noted that the dissolved oxygen concentration levels in-
dicated in the Regional Board's policy are minimum levels. In accord-
ance with recent studies (17), a mean dissolved oxygen level of 9.0 mg/1
is recommended for salmon spawning areas below Nimbus Dam. Although
this level is higher than the minimum recommended by the RWQCB, the
9 mg/1 DO level is considered a desirable goal to maintain, because
32

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transient field conditions are expected to induce uncontrollable
factors that will cause oxygen levels to fluctuate (18). The lower
7.0 mg/1 level recommended by the Regional Board is a minimum and is
thus compatible with the mean of 9 mg/1 suggested above. Similarly,
a higher mean dissolved oxygen level of 7.0 mg/1 is recommended for the
lower reach of the river, in addition to the 5.0 mg/1 minimum specified
by the Regional Board.
Sewage-borne nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus stimulate the
growth of algae and other aquatic plants. Widespread plant growths
often interfere with water uses (19), curtailing or even eliminating
swimming, boating, water skiing, and sometimes fishing; imparting
tastes and odors to water supplies; shortening filter runs or other-
wise hampering industrial and municipal water treament; impairing
areas of picturesque beauty; reducing or restricting resort trade;
lowering waterfront property values; interfering with the manufacture
of certain products; causing diurnal fluctuations in dissolved oxygen
and pH, which are detrimental to fish and on occasion become toxic to
some warm-blooded animals. Algae appear as floating scums; as sus-
pended matter giving rise to murky, turbid water or water have a
"pea soup" appearance; as attached filaments; or as bottom-dwelling
types that may be confused with the higher aquatic plants that grow as
rooted, submerged, floating, or emergent plants.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board has recommended that "the
concentration of dissolved nutrients shall be maintained at levels
below those which may cause undesirable agal densities, slime, or
bacteriological growth, or other undesirable biological growths." The
RWQCB has further recommended a total nitrogen limit of 1.0 mg/1 to
control aquatic plant growths. In addition, the Federal Water Pollution
Control Administration (20), has found that limiting total phosphorus
content to 0.1 mg/1 in flowing water will help control excessive growths
of undesirable algal and aquatic plants. Therefore, for the purpose of
this study, the recommended maximum total nitrogen and phosphorus
levels are 1.0 and 0.1 mg/1 respectively. These are maximum levels;
algal and aquatic growths can occur in lesser concentrations but the
density is generally tolerable and the resulting growths may contribute
to a balanced ecology in the river.
PRESENT CONDITIONS
Concurrent with the great interest shown in preserving the Lower Ameri-
can River, several agencies have been conducting studies of the present
water quality of the river. Since one of its most Important sources
of water is the American River, the city of Sacramento has conducted
routine chemical and biochemical analyses on the river. A review of
these observations has disclosed that the dissolved oxygen level
collected from five sampling points downstream from Nimbus Dam has been
33

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consistently at or above saturation during an 18-month period, January
1966 to June 1967. Some slightly undersaturated samples were collected.
The mean BODc of river water samples collected during the same period
was about 1.0 mg/1.
In the present stage of basin development, the total annual runoff of
the American River from Folsom Dam is released to the lower river, but
minimum flows included in the current agreement concluded between the
California Department of Fish and Game and the U. S. Bureau of Reclam-
ation in 1957 have been approached on several occasions since 1960.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board is satisfied with present
conditions in the river. No requirement for flow augmentation exists
with the present waste loading conditions in the river and releases
from Nimbus.
Field and laboratory studies conducted by the Federal Water Pollution
Control Administration in the Lower American River during the summer
of 1967 assessed the present environmental quality and provided a
basis for interpretation of water quality projections described later
in this report. The objectives of these studies were to:
1.	Assess the general character of the Lover American
River through a summer season under varied flow
conditions by taking physical measurements (water
temperature, transparency) and photographs of the
area.
2.	Obtain a record of existing macro- and microscopic plant
life in the Lower American River and near Nimbus Dam.
3.	Collect water samples at three station in the Lower
American River for nutrient and chlorophyll analyses and
algal growth potential studies.
The chemical and biological tests included the nitrogen series (NO3,
NH3, and organic N), total phosphorus, dissolved ortho-phosphate phos-
phorus, chlorophyll fluorescence, phyto-plankton identification and
enumeration, and algal growth potential (AGP).
The sampling stations selected (see Figure 2) were located as follows:
Station 1 - Downstream from Nimbus Dam
Station 2 - At Guy West Bridge
Station 3 - Near the mouth of the American River
34

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The Lower American River is a clean stream, compared to the westward
draining rivers of the San Joaquin Valley. The general riverside char-
acter is pleasant, and the waters support many forms of recreation.
The 1967 studies found water temperatures ranging from 13C in June at
flows of approximately 8,000 cfs to 19C in August at a flow of 4,000
cfs. Transparency as measured by Secchi disc was generally greater than
six feet and in most places the river bottom was clearly visible.
Photographs taken in October reveal the character of the bottom, which
is composed of clean gravels in the upper areas and a slightly more
varied substratum, including sand and silt deposits, in the lower reaches.
BIOLOGICAL CHARACTER
Aquatic plants of various kinds were found in the river but not in
nuisance proportions. In May 1967, growths of filamentous green
algae were reported in Lake Natoma behind Nimbus Dam and fragments
were observed in the river below the dam. Immediately downstream from
the dam, luxuriant growths of filamentous green alga, Ulothrix, and
gelantinous globules of the stalked diatom, Cymbella, were found on
boulders near the water-line.
Similar attached growths of Ulothrix were observed by FWPCA biologists
during May 1967 along the north shore of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra
Nevada and immediately downstream from Friant Dam on the San Joaquin,
California. In each case the growths occurred in clear waters which are
known to be generally low in nutrient content. Since Ulothrix is con-
sidered a clean water organism, the bloom that occurred in Lake Natomas
during May 1967 does not necessarily portend severe biological problems
in the river at current nutrient levels.
At Arden Rapids, no growths were apparent during the summer observations.
Further downstream near Watt Avenue Bridge, periphyton growths were
apparent and detached segments of the filamentous golden brown alga,
Hydrurus. were numerous. These segments were observed as undulating
strands approximately one inch long. Benthic diatoms were observed at
the Guy West Bridge and near the mouth of the American River in May.
These were Cymbe1la. Diatoma. Fragillaria, and Gomphonema. Short
streamers and felt-like coatings were formed on the stalks of submerged
terrestial plants. The river flow was high during this period as a
result of a late spring runoff during 1967.
Surveys in June, July, and August showed no prolific growths of attach-
ed or planktonic algae in the river, although filamentous green algae
of the genus Spirogyra were abundant along the shore and in shallow
water behind Nimbus Dam. Phyto-plankton levels were very low throughout
the summer, but concentrations increased downstream.
35

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During October, a matrix of light brown, gelantinous growths comprised
of diatom stalks (Cymbella, Synedria) were found on rocks at the shore-
line one mile downstream from Nimbus Dam. Similar growths were not
observed elsewhere.
Floating particulate matter was observed in the river; this condition,
to the naked eye, was similar to the conditions caused by Hydrurus in
May. Under laboratory observation, the material was found to be actually
detritus that was extensively covered with loose aggregates of diatoms
(Cymbella. Fragillarla and Melosira). Water primrose plants were ob-
served near Arden Rapids but not in any abundance.
In August and September 1968, blooms of blue green algae were recorded.
These blooms created taste and odor problems in water supplied from
the city water treatment plant located on the Lower American River.
The blooms were attributed to the combination of warm temperatures, low
river flows (about 1000 cfs), high nutrient inflow from cannery wastes
at the Folsom State Prison sewage treatment plant, and nutrients from
the upstream watershed.
Nutrient analyses for the three sampling stations indicated that the
total nitrogen and phosphorus levels were low, generally less than 0.5
and 0.05 mg/1 respectively. A general increase in total nitrogen and
phosphorus from Station 1 to Station 3 was found. This was attributed
to the nutrient-rich waste sources from sewage and other waste streams
entering the river between Nimbus Dam and the mouth of the river.
Chlorophyll concentration in samples collected during the study period
were consistently below 5 ug/1. Little variation occurred between the
three stations for any given sampling period, probably because the time
of travel from Nimbus to the river mouth was insufficient to permit
extensive phyto-plankton development. This finding was consistent with
the level and character of the cell count which showed extremely few
organisms. The enumerated few were probably sloughed from benthic
growths.
For comparison, chlorophyll levels at the American River mouth (Station
3) were far lower than those found at the mouths of the Stanislaus and
Tuolumne Rivers, where chlorophyll levels exceeding 100 ug/1 have been
recorded.
IMPACT OF PROJECT ON WATER QUALITY
Dissolved Oxygen
Sustaining an adequate dissolved oxygen concentration is essential to
the maintenance and propagation of the fishery in the stream. To hold
these oxygen levels, adequate flows much be available for the assimi-
36

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lation of treated waste effluent. The projected BOD loadings at the
various levels of development shown in Table 5 were imposed on the
river to determine the required flow. It is estimated that a minimum
flow of 200 cfs will be needed by 2025 to sustain the required dissolv-
ed oxygen levels. Results of these computations are shown in Table 6.
The flow requirements shown do not take into account the influence on
dissolved oxygen levels of excessive algal and aquatic growths that
result from nutrient enrichment of the water.
TABLE 6 - FLOW REGULATION FOR DISSOLVED OXYGEN CONTROL
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER

1975
2000
2025
Flow regulation, cfs
50
100
200
The flow required to maintain minimum dissolved oxygen level in the
various states of development up to 2025 are less than the proposed op-
eration schedule during the base year, and mean releases, or the present
agreed minimum fishery and water supply releases below Nimbus Dam.
Total Dissolved Solids and Hardness
Under the proposed regulated flows, future water available to the Sacra-
mento City water system will contain higher total dissolved solids
(TDS) and hardness. This reduction of water quality will be caused by
the progressively greater proportion of sewage effluent present in the
river water as the result of decreased releases from Nimbus Dam.
The mean TDS and hardness of water available to Sacramento City are
shown in Table 7 at the various states of development. In the early
stages of project development after 1975, the changes in hardness will
be insignificant, but by 2025 average hardness will have Increased by
37 percent. Similarly, the TDS changes will be insignificant in the
early years, but by 2025 the average TDS will have increased by 38 per-
cent. However, increased in TDS and hardness should not affect the
usefulness of the water for municipal and industrial purposes. The
water will meet the mineral quality recommended by the U.S. Public
Health Service Drinking Water Standards (6).
37

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TABLE 7 " PROJECTED TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS AND HARDNESS
IN LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
1975 2000	2025
Hardness, mg/1 &
25.6
29.4
34.2
Increase, %
2.4
17.4
36.7
TDS, mg/1
42.4
51.6
65.1
Increase, %
5.9
29.0
37.8
a/ Present flow weighted hardness, 25 mg/1 as calcium carbonate
b/ Present flow weighted TDS, 40 mg/1
Nutrients
The total nutrient load discharged into the river by 1965 population
and by projected populations at various levels of development is shown
in Table 8. Nitrogen and phosphorus loads are based upon the per capita
contribution rate reported by Weinberger (21), which reflect a 50 per-
cent removal of nitrogen and a 30 percent removal of phosphorus in
secondary sewage treatment plants. Although recent reports indicate
higher phosphorus removal rates are possible (22,23), the convention*
ally accepted removal rates have been used in this study to compute.
nutrient loading.
TABLE 8 - NUTRIENT LOAD LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
NUTRIENT	1965	1975	2000	2025
Nitrogen (lb/yr)
Sewage	969,000	1,665,000	3,330,000	4,625,000
Runoff	142,000	125,000	117,000 82,000
Total	1,111,000	1,790,000 3,447,000	4,707,000
Phosphorus (lb/yr)
Sewage	256,000	441,000	882,000	1,225,000
Runoff	32,000	32,500	32,800 35,800
Total	288,000	473,500	914,800	1,260,800
38

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The nutrient loads shown in Table 8 include contributions from local
drainage. Since detailed data are not available on the character of
runoff from the agricultural and urban areas of the Lower American
River basin, estimates were based on data given by Weibel (24). In
addition to surface runoff, mainly attributable to local precipitation
the urban area includes large areas of lawn, brush, parks, and other
beautification growths. Sustaining this vegetation through the hot, dry
summer of the Central Valley requires large quantities of water. Drain-
age from these household and municipal irrigation practices forms a
measurable nutrient load to the river. Field observations and sampling
of several drains during the summer of 1967 have provided some inform-
ation on the character of the drainage water. It was estimated that a
large part of the nutrient analyzed was derived from lawn fertilizer.
An estimation of their contributing load was included in the local runoff
shown on Table 8.
To evaluate the impact of the nutrient load on the river, the project
releases from the base year were used to control the projected nutrient
loads in the Lower American River. Thus, the nutrient concentrations
will be the maximum levels expected at least once in ten years. In
Figure 7, nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the river are shown under
2025 project conditions. As indicated, the nitrogen level below the
city intake will exceed the maximum recommended value (1.0 mg/1) for
75 percent of the year and will reach a peak of 4.0 mg/1 in late spring.
Similarly, the phosphorus level by 2025 will also exceed the maximum
recommended level almost the whole year (except March) and will reach
a peak of about 1.0 mg/1 below the Arden Sewage Treatment Plant. The
major contribution to the nutrient load at the 2025 level of development
will be derived from sewage effluent that will form as much as 15 per-
cent of the river flow upstream from the City of Sacramento water in-
take system and reach a peak of 24 percent of the river flow downstream
during the base year flow. Thus, under the base-flow releases, the
maximum recommended nutrient objectives for nitrogen will be exceeded
during a large part of the year and the objectives for phosphorus will
be exceeded for almost the entire year.
Impact of Fertilization
To provide a basis for evaluating the impact of future nutrient load
in the river, algal growth potential (AGP) studies were conducted in
the river and laboratory during the summer of 1967. They were under-
taken to provide data on the biological potential of American River
water under future conditions of low flow and sewage enrichment.
The AGP value is the peak chlorphyll concentration achieved in 14 days.
The AGP test involved incubation of river waters replicated in 500 ml
flasks at 20C in an incubator equipped with fluorescent lamps with an
on-off cycle of 12 hours each 24 hours. Chlorophyll was measured every
39

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NUTRIENT CONCENTRATION
BASE FLOW RELEASES
2025 LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT
so
N
N
E
in
o
o
sc.
Below City
Intake
y
/ Ab
Above City
Intake
Recommended Maximum
I	1	1	 .1	' '
N
\
o>
E
in
3
DC
0
X
01
if)
o
X
a.
Below City
Intake
Above City
Intake
Recommended Maximum
M A M J J A S
MONTH OF YEAR
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER STUDY
NITROGEN ANO PHOSPHORUS
CONCENTRATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
FEDERAL WATER POUUTION CONTROL. ADMINISTRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REOION	SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
40
Figur* ?

-------
2 or 3 days. Three series of tests were performed, each involving
samples from each of the three stations sampled.
Progressively higher AGP values were obtained in raw river water incub-
ated from the downstream stations. They ranged from a mean of about
5 ug/1 chlorophyll at Station 1 to 30 ug/1 chlorophyll at Station 3.
Addition of inorganic nitrogen and treated sewage to American River
water yielded higher AGP values than did raw river water incubated with
treated sewage and phosphorus supplement. Examples of these bio-assays
are shown in Figure 8. Addition of 17 percent sewage to the mixtures
yielded AGP values from 8 to 30 times greater than those in the raw
water controls.
The AGP values provide an index of eutrophication (state of enrichment).
Higher AGP values by definition indicate an ability to produce denser
crops of algae or aquatic plants. Where physical conditions of streams
are similar (i.e., depth, temperature, substrate), it is reasonable to
make general analogies of the biological character of streams based on
AGP values.
Considering the above field and laboratory tests, the character of the
Lower American River is expected to be altered as a direct consequence
of over-fertilization if stream flow is reduced and present waste dis-
posal practices are continued. Aquatic plants such as water hyacinth
and water primrose will become abundant in the river, particularly in
the shallow near-shore regions. Attached green algae such as Cladophora
and bluegreen algae such as Oscillatoria will develop in the river
bottom below sewage discharge points. The density of these plant growths
will be proportional to the nutrient loads reaching the stream during
the growing season.
Nuisance conditions related to over-abundant plant growths have been
recorded in several San Joaquin Valley streams in California. Water
primrose and water hyacinth growths have repeatedly clogged the Stanis-
laus and Tuolumne rivers and blocked shore access. Mats of blue-green
algae (Oscillatoria) have caused wide fluctuations in dissolved oxygen
(more than 8 mg/1 in 10 hours) and excessive pH values in the Tuolumne
River. Dissolved-oxygen depressions (below 3 mg/1) and unsightly growths
of stalked ciliates occurred in the lower reaches of the Tuolumne River
below a municipal sewage outfall during a 1966 low-flow period.
Nuisance growths of attached green and blue-green algae and dissolved
oxygen deficiency related to these growths have occurred in the shallow,
sewage-enriched Truckee River below the city of Reno (25).
41

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300
Ul
o
z
iLt
o
in
ur
QL
o
=>
200 H
SEWAGE
SPIKE
CONTROL
Algal Growth Potential
American River
at Guy West Bridge
Series C
sample collected
6 Oct. 1967
10 12 14 16
>-
X
L
O
CC
O
_
X
400
200
100
N ITR00EN
SPIKE
SPIKE
Algol Growth Potential
American River
ot Mouth
Series B
sample collected
22 Aug, 1967
TIME - DAYS
$ Seal# relative to
fluorometer readings
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER STUDY
AGP STUDIES
department op the interior
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ADMINISTRATION
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST RCaiON SAN FRANCISCO, CAUR
42
Figurs 8

-------
Nitrogen levels in the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers are generally
greater than 1 mg/1 during the low-flow months; concentrations greater
than 2 mg/1 have been recorded. Studies carried out in July 1962 and
August 1963 in the Truckee River below Reno disclosed nitrogen concen-
trations of 2-3 mg/1. Nuisance benthic algal growths were also observed.
Phosphorus is apparently not a limiting nutrient in these sewage-fertil-
ized streams.
Impact of Project on Recreation and Fishery
Economic evaluations must relate water-oriented recreation to water
quality and to various biotic growths, in accordance with predicted
flow depletion and sewage-induced enrichment. To gain background in-
formation for such evaluation, FWPCA and Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
(BOR) personnel made field visits in early October to numerous points
on the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers in California
to compare general conditions of these streams with those of the Ameri-
can River. Photographs of these waters in 1967 and 1966 (a lower water
year) were compared. Aquatic growths, including water hyacinths, water
primrose, blue-green algal mats, and various associated algal conditions,
were discussed in relation to nutrients and the reactions of vacationers
to these growths at different nuisance levels. Photographs of condit-
ions in the Truckee River near Sparks, Nevada, were used as examples of
blue-green algal nuisances in a river, and examples of rooted aquatics
were taken from streams in the San Joaquin Valley area.
The relationship of recreation to enriched conditions was developed by
relating the types of water quality problems to recreation uses. The
uses selected were both water-dependent (swimming, etc.) and nonwater-
dependent (picnicking, etc.). Water quality aspects of recreation were
considered in light of the results of recreation surveys carried out in
other studies. The relationships developed are illustrated by the
graph on Figure 9. The curves on the figure represent the judgment of
a group of biologists, sanitary engineers, and recreation specialists.
Seasonal factors were used, whereby water quality was assumed to have
no effect on winter recreation from November-April and a factor of 50
percent of the peak effect was applied during the months of May and
October. The full 100 percent factor was applied during the peak recre-
ation season June-September. The conditions in which total loss of
water-dependent recreation occur were taken as equivalent to nearly
total blockage of the flow-depleted stream by aquatic plants such as
recorded in the Tuolumne River near Modesto, California, or dense blue-
green algal crops with attached slimes and floating scums, as in the
enriched Truckee River during 1962-63. It should be noted that the
blue-green algal genus (Oscillatoria), which was dominant in the Truckee
River, was found in mats in the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers by
FWPCA biologists in 1966 and 1967. Water primrose plants and filamentous
43

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Non-water
dependent
uses
J oo
Lm
2	3
TOTAL NITROGEN (mg/l }
Notes :
Relative suitability of aquatic environment as related to varied levels of enrichment
(expressed here in terms of nitrogen.) Biological responses assumed as!
a. Algal growths - benthic greens and blue -green forms with sequence ft severity
increasing with enrichment ( Upper Rtcrh - Rocky Substrate ).
b- Emergent and floating aquatic plants with areal coverage and density
increasing with enrichment. (lower Reach-Mud ft Sand Substrate).
Lower Reach - mouth to water intake of Sacramento City Water Treatment Plant
tipper Reach-water intake to Rancho Cordova Sewage Treatment Plant.
Recreational use factors apply sea -
sonally since nuisance conditions
are expected only during the warm
dry season (May-October), Factors
are expected to be half the plotted
value in May and October and the
full value in June- September
Unimpaired recreational use is ap-
,. . .	. . .	DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
p iedfor remainder of year.	federal water pollution control administration
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION	9 A N FRANCISCO CALIF.
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER STUDY
WATER QUALITY-RECREATION USE
RELATIONSHIP
44
Figure 9

-------
green aigae were found in the American River by FWPCA biologist in 1967.
The water quality-recreation use relationship is shown in Figure 9.
Projected total nitrogen levels (abscissa) based on sewage volumes and
river flows are translated to recreational use factors (ordinate). The
recreational factors are applied according to the use category. Non-
water-dependent uses in the lower, more sluggish reach of the future flow-
depleted river (from the water intake to the mouth) are evaluated on the
basis of a predicted aquatic plant nuisance, whereas the upper reach
(from the water intake to Rancho Cordova Sewage Treatment Plant) is eval-
uated using the curve for predicted algal slimes. This reach has more
rock substrate and higher velocities. For water-dependent uses, the mid-
range of the curve was used to translate recreational use factors. The
region farthest upstream above Ranco Cordova is not expected to have
nuisance growths of the type which would deter water-dependent and non-
water-dependent recreationists.
Evaluations of the impact of increasing nutrient loading of the river at
several levels of area development were based on the recreational use
curves presented in Figure 9. For impairment determination, the nutrient
levels in the river were established on the basis of mean project releases
at the various levels. The results of these evaluations are shown in
Table 9.
TABLE 9 - ESTIMATED RECREATION POTENTIAL LOSSES
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
1975	1987	2019
3 /
Unimpaired Use,
Recreation - days	1,995,836	4,762,000 14,635,000
b /
Impairment,'
Recreation - days	0	20,600 1,475,000
Annual Value of Lost
Recreation Potential '	0	$ 23,960 $ 1,622,500
&/ Bureau of Outdoor Recreation preliminary projections based on quality
of river water in 1967 (16).
Jb/ Impairment due to water quality deterioration.
c/ Based on recreation day value of $1.15/day in 1987 and $1.10/day
in 2019.
45

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According to Table 9, no impairment of recreational opportunities is
anticipated in 1975 as a result of water quality since the quality of
the river will still be satisfactory. By 1987 water quality will have
suffered minor deterioration resulting from lowered releases and the
increase of waste discharge which will have an adverse effect upon the
recreational use of the river. The preliminary projection of unimpaired
use of the river by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation was based on water
quality of the river in 1967.
With a recreational-day value of $1.15, lost recreation potential with
an annual value of about $23,690 will be incurred beginning in 1987.
At the 2019 level of development, water quality will be further impaired
by nutrient enrichment resulting in an annual loss of about $1,622,500,
based on a recreational-day value of $1.10. The harmful effects to the
recreational resource over the 100-year evaluation period discounted at
4-5/8 percent will have a total present worth (1975) of $10,835,000.
Its annual equivalent value would be $505,000.
In addition to the impact of excessive algal and aquatic growths on
recreational uses of the river, predictions were made on the effects
of severe diurnal fluctuations in dissolved oxygen levels on the fishery.
The fluctuations, observed in nutrient enriched streams, have been
attributed to nocturnal respiration of biotic growths, to secondary
pollution caused by cellular excretions, and natural die-off. It is
predicted that the respiration requirements of an excessively fertilized
body of water can lower the oxygen level below the minimum 5 mg/1 re-
quired to support the fishery, thereby violating the standard established
by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. These depressions will be
most severe during summer and early fall and will be confined to the
lower stretch of the river below the Rancho Cordova Sewage Treatment
Plant which is deeper and slower moving than the upper reach of the
river.
The Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and the Bureau of Commercial
Fisheries have provided predictions on the impact of low nocturnal dis-
solved oxygen levels (below 5 mg/1). These are shown in Table 10. It
has also been predicted that greater losses of salmon will be incurred
if the poor water quality conditions persist past October, but these
were not considered in this evaluation.
46

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TABLE 10 - IMPACT OF LOW DISSOLVED OXYGEN ON FISHERY
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
2019
a/
FISHERY -
RANGE OF
IMPAIRMENT
7o
REDUCTION
IN ANGLER-
DAYS
VALUE OF
ANGLER-
DAY $
DETRIMENT
$
Warm Water Species
70-90
17,500
1.00
17,500
Striped Bass
100
8,000
3.50
28,000
American Shad
100
30,000
2.50
75,000
Rainbow Trout
80-100
28,000
1.50
42,000
Steelhead Trout
80-100
20,800
5.00
104,000
Chinook Salmon-Inland
90-100
69,300
4.00
277,200
Chinook Salmon-Ocean
90-100
66,600
6.00
399,600
a/ Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Office Communications.
In addition, an annual commercial fishery of 675,000 pounds
valued at $0.55 per pound will be reduced 90-100 percent.
Using the conservative (lower) impairment rate, the reductions in
angler-days and commercial fish harvest are shown for the 2019 level
of development. It was assumed that minor problems will be experienced
in the years immediately after 1975, but significant impairments will
not commence until the year 1987. They will peak at the 2019 level of
development. Based on the impairment rates shown in Table 10, an
annual reduction of 240,200 angler-days and about 300 tons of commercial
harvest will occur. When expressed in monetary values, these detriments
would have a present worth (1975) of $8,423,000, evaluated over a 100-
year period and discounted at 4-5/8 percent. An annual equivalent value
of about $394,000 over this period could be attributed to the water
quality deterioration resulting from excessive nutrient fertilization.
IMPACT WITHOUT F0LS0M SOUTH CANAL DIVERSION
To provide a basis for evaluating the impact of the Folsom South Canal
diversion, the effects of future developments in the Lower American
River were appraised separately by studying projected conditions without
47

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the project in place and without scheduled diversions. To realistically
appraise these future conditions, it was assumed that the conditions
without the project and economic growths therefrom would induce con-
straints on the population growth of the study area. Under these condi -
tions the sewage waste loads to the Lower American River would be re-
duced correspondingly. Based on the proportion of water which the pro-
ject would furnish for municipal and industrial purposes to the study
area it was estimated that the future population and sewage waste loads
would be reduced by about 15 percent. The mean monthly runoffs through
the same historical period of project operation (1921-1954) were used
to dilute the projected sewage loads at levels of development up to 2025,
and the various water quality parameters were evaluated.
1.	Dissolved Oxygen Control and Impact on Total Dissolved Solids and
Hardness			______
Under conditions without the project, as described above, the dissolved
oxygen needs of the river will be met to the year 2025. Flow regulation
for control of dissolved oxygen deficits incurred by organic loading of
the river will not be needed. The TDS and hardness of the river water
will increase as the result of increasing volumes of sewage effluent
discharged into the river at the various levels of development. These
increases will be most evident during the dry months of August and Sept-
ember. Nevertheless, the increases in TDS and hardness will not influ-
ence the usefulness of the water because the water would still be con-
sidered excellent. The water will meet the mineral quality requirements
recommended by the U. S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards
(6) and will be adequate for municipal, industrial and agricultural
purposes.
2.	Water Quality and Relation to Recreation and Fishery
Employing the methodology for relating nutrient loads In the river to
recreation, as previously described, the impact of future nutrient
loads on the river was evaluated under conditions without the project.
It was found that by 1975, the recommended nitrogen level (1.0 mg/1)
will be exceeded during the three dry summer months and will reach a
peak of 2.1 mg/1 in September in the downstream reaches of the river.
At the 2000 and 2025 level of development, the nitrogen concentration
will exceed the recommended level during four and five months of the
year respectively and will reach a peak of 4.8 mg/1 during September at
the 2025 level of development. For the remainder of the year, the
natural runoffs of the basin will be adequate to dilute the nitrogen
load.
Under conditions without the project, the recommended phosphorus level
48

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(0.1 mg/1) will be exceeded five months of the year during the dry season
at the 1975 level of development and will reach a peak of 0.50 mg/1
in the downstream reaches. By 2000 and 2025, the recommended phosphorus
level will be exceeded during seven and nine months of the year respect-
ively, and will reach a peak concentration of 1.29 mg/1 during the summer
of the terminal study year (2025). It should be noted that the con-
centrations of both nutrients (N & P) reached higher levels than under
project conditions during the dry summer months but the nutrients were
highly diluted during the runoff season to much lower concentrations.
Thus, the effects of the dry season flow are more pronounced under
conditions without the project.
When monthly nutrient levels were related to recreation uses, the lost
recreation potential was evaluated by methods previously described. The
results of these evaluation shows an annual loss of $40,000 at 1975,
$251,000 at 1987 and reaching $1,339,000 at the 2019 level of develop-
ment. The impact over the 100-year evaluation period discounted at
4-5/8 percent will have a total present worth (1975) of $11,585,000. Its
annual equivalent value will be $540,000.
In addition to the impact of excessive algal and aquatic growths on
recreational uses, predictions were made on the effects of severe diurnal
fluctuations in dissolved oxygen levels on the fishery. Using the
predictions furnished by the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and
the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, it was found that the reduction in
angler-days use and commercial fish harvest would not differ signifi-
cantly from under project conditions. As previously evaluated, these
detriments show a present worth (1975) of $8,423,000 when evaluated over
a 100-year period discounted at 4-5/8 percent. The reduction in fishery
use is estimated to have an annual equivalent value of about $394,000
over this period that could be attributed to water quality deterioration
resulting from excessive nutrient fertilization.
IMPACT OF PROPOSED DIVERSION COMPARED WITH CONDITIONS WITHOUT THE PROJECT
When the impact of the proposed diversions is compared to the impact of
future waste loadings without the project, it was found that the detri-
ments were not significantly different and were within the estimated
accuracy of the methodology employed for the evaluations. The total
detrimental impact under project diversions is estimated to be $12,590,000
over the 100-year evaluation period, compared to detriments of $13,340,000
without the project. Thus, the impact of the project, by itself, is not
considered significantly different from the anticipated river conditions
without the project.
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IX. WATER QUALITY CONTROL NEEDS
mitigation of nutrient impact by flow augmentation under project conditions
Flow augmentation to reduce nutrient concentrations is one method which
could decrease the harmful impact of excessive fertilization of the Lower
American River. Flow augmentation necessary to reduce nutrient concen-
tration to the recommended objectives at various levels of development
under project conditions is shown in Table 11.
TABLE 11 - FLOW AUGMENTATION FOR NUTRIENT CONTROL
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
Under Project Conditions
NUTRIENT CONTROL ^
1975
2000
2025
Protection, nine out of ten years



Nitrogen control, AF/yr
0
175,000
435,000
Phosphorus control, AF/yr
0
1,138,000
2,233,000
c /
Protection under mean project flow 



Nitrogen control, AF/yr
0
83,000
413,000
Phosphorus control, AF/yr
0
1,119,000
2,143,000
a/ Stream flow needs in addition to project releases.
b/ Maximum augmentation flows required to provide protection, nine out
of ten years.
c/ Mean augmentation flow over 33 years of historical record.
The flows indicated in Table 11 show both the maximum requirements to
Provide protection in nine out of ten years and also mean requirements
during the project releases over the 33 years of operation study. Aug-
mentation releases, in addition to scheduled project releases, are
needed only during the spring and summer months from May to October when
the effects of excessive fertilization are most pronounced. During the
Winter and early spring months, excessive fertilization will have less
impact on water quality and use and augmentation flow will not be needed.
In the early years after project completion in 1975, the anticipated
nitrogen load will be controlled adequately by project releases, during
toore than 90 percent of the year. To control nitrogen levels to sub-
eutrophic concentrations by the year 2000 will require an annual peak
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augmentation release of 175,000 acre-feet for protection in nine out of
10 years and a mean annual release of 83,000 acre-feet. To control the
increased nitrogen load in 2025, these releases will have to be increased
to 435,000 and 413,000 acre-feet respectively.
In the early years after completion of the project, the phosphorus level
in the river will also be controlled adequately under base and mean flow
conditions. Phosphorus levels will be exceeded during the winter months,
but because nuisance aquatic growth will be unlikely, the impact on the
river will be insignificant. By the year 2000, flow augmentation will be
needed to maintain the recommended level to suppress nuisance growths.
A maximum additional release of about 1.1 million acre-feet will be need-
ed to provide protection during nine out of 10 years and also for the 33
years of historical record. These augmentation flows will have to be in-
creased to a peak of 2.2 million acre-feet and a mean of 2.1 million acre-
feet by the year 2025.
To furnish a basis for comparison of alternative plans, costs were eval-
uated for the mitigation of water quality detriments by augmentation flows
for the control of nitrogen concentration. The AGP studies indicate that
nitrogen will be the limiting nutrient controlling algal growth in the
Lower American River. Therefore, control of nitrogen levels would be the
most effective means to suppress eutrophic conditions in the river. How-
ever, it should be recognized that phosphorus levels would remain above
the recommended 0.1 mg/1 concentration when only the nitrogen content is
reduced to the 1.0 mg/1 level.
The maintenance of higher flows in the Lower American River by increased
releases from Nimbus Dam and supply of Folsom South Canal water needs by
pumping, will result in lower TDS and hardness levels in the Sacramento
River as it reaches the Hood pumping installation. The water returned to
the Folsom South Canal will have slightly higher TDS and hardness, re-
flecting Sacramento River water quality. Thus, the quality of water in
the Sacramento River below Hood will have been improved while the water
available from the Folsom South Canal will be somewhat higher in TDS
and hardness. In terms of the economy of the whole region, the impact of
these small water quality changes will be insignificant. In any case, the
quality of water in both the canal and the Sacramento River will still be
excellent for all purposes.
For the purpose of this study, the costs for the return to the Folsom
South Canal of the additional releases through the Hood-Clay Pump Station
were considered. Preliminary cost estimates for a single-purpose pump
station and transmission system were evaluated for this need beginning in
the year 2000. The present worth (1975) of the capital cost will be about
$5,000,000 and the maintenance operation costs and replacement for the
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pumping plant and conveyance system will be about $2,500,000. The oper-
ational cost includes electrical power needs. When this total present
worth is discounted over a 100-year period at 4-5/8 percent, an annual
cost of about $350,000 will be incurred to meet the additional releases
into the Lower American River to lower nitrogen concentrations to
acceptable levels.
It is recognized that the cost for additional releases could be reduced
if the proposed project releases into the Lower American River were
to be increased for fishery maintenance. As the Bureau of Sport
Fisheries and Wildlife and the Bureau of Reclamation are considering
additional releases for fishery maintenance, the reduction in costs
for nutrient control will require further evaluation when revised re-
leases are firmed.
ALTERNATIVES UNDER PROJECT CONDITIONS
Although control of nutrient concentrations with project water is feas-
ible, it is not the only solution to the nutrient problems of the Lower
American River. Moreover, with the projected population growth, even
the release of all flow to the American River rather than diversion to
the Folsom South Canal would not be adequate to control the phosphorus
level. Alternative solutions to the problem have been investigated
and the two solutions that have been considered are advanced sewage
treatment methods and diversions of wastes from the Lower American
River.
1. Advanced Sewage Treatment Methods
Traditionally, the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus has not been a
primary objective in modern secondary treatment plants. The main goal
has been the reduction of oxidizable organic matter. In recent years,
however, greater attention has been focused on the need to control the
eutrophication of receiving waters by removing nutrients. Recent in-
vestigations (22,23) have shown that the removal of phosphate could be
increased in the secondary treatment process by changing conventional
operating practices to result in 90 to 95 percent phosphate removal.
Advanced treatment methods (26,27,28,29) have shown that 90 percent
phosphate and 80 percent nitrogen can be removed. Pilot plants and
small sewage treatment plants have used advanced waste treatment tech-
niques successfully (26,27,28,29). Adaptation of these techniques to
large plants awaits only the appropriate time, place, and justification.
Based on nutrient removal levels expected from advanced treatment
methods, the need for flow augmentation at the various states of de-
velopment was determined. It was found that augmentation flows will
not be needed at any stage up to the year 2025 to maintain recommended
nutrient levels. By 2025, reservoir release into the lower river in
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accordance with present operation plans will total 1,230,000 acre-
feet during the base year flow period. This will be adequate for di-
lution of phosphorus and nitrogen loading during nine out of 10 years.
Thus, with provision made for advanced treatment, the nutrient level
in the river will be lowered at least 90 percent of the time to accept-
able level without augmentation.
To provide a basis for comparing alternative solutions to the nutrient
loading problems in the river, costs were estimated for providing ad-
vanced treatment of wastes before discharge to the river. To offset
the cost of advanced treatment, the treated effluent has been consider-
ed suitable for reuse in the American River Parkway and other irrig-
ation areas. The city of Sacramento presently purchases water from
the Bureau of Reclamation at nine dollars ($9) per acre-foot. Water-
treatment costs are approximately $24 per acre-foot (30). Thus, the
cost of finished water to the city is about $33 per acre-foot or
about $100 per million-galIons, in storage before distribution. Pre-
sent estimates of advanced treatment costs range from $150-$200 per
million-gallon (26,28,29). These costs are in addition to primary and
secondary treatment.
Using the lower figure ($150 per million-gallon), thereby allowing a
discount for the value of reclaimed water, an annual cost of about
$2,108,000 by 2000 is estimated for the provision of advanced treat-
ment. This amount will increase to about $3,663,000 by 2025 to provide
for the increased sewage flows. The 1975 value of advanced treatment
cost will be approximately $20,680,000 or about $967,000 per annum,
when discounted over a 100-year evaluation period at 4-5/8 percent.
2. Diversion of Wastes from the Lower American River
Without employing advanced treatment methods for removing nutrients
from sewage, quality objectives in the Lower American River could be
maintained by diverting waste from the basin.
The Aerojet-General Corporation (13) has suggested an out-of-basin
transport plan that calls for a central collection and export system
to serve the entire Sacramento metropolitan area. Terminal discharge
point will be in the Delta or the Pacific Ocean. However, this study
does not examine such plans.
The present study considers a plan to export waste from the Lower
American River to the Sacramento River. This plan requires the
continued operation of the Sacramento County's Cordova, Arden, and
Northeast Treatment Plants to the limit of their present capacity.
The future increased flows from the northeast areas will be transported
across the American River southward to the county's Central Plant for
treatment and disposal into the Sacramento River near Freeport.
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Expansion of the Cordova Plant should be limited and increased flows
from the area would be diverted to the Central Plant. Existing sewers
of the Central Plant are located as far as the boundary of the present
collection system of the Cordova Plant and across the river from the
Northeast Plant (see Figure 6), These sewers were installed under the
county's master plan (12). Since excess capacity is presently avail-
able in these sewers, because they were designed for future flows,
connections thereto will be feasible in the immediate future up to the
year 2000. Utilimately, a larger sewer system to serve the diverted
flows from across the river and a local service area south of the river
will be required to handle a large volume of sewage (see Figure 6).
Expansion of the Arden Plant should also be limited by diverting
future sewage flow into the proposed North Central and Northwest Plants
or across the river to the city of Sacramento sewer system. The pro-
posed plants will be located in the lower elevations of the natural
drainage basin of various creeks flowing parallel to the American
River. The natural drainage of the sewage system from the basin between
the Northeast area and the Sacramento River to the west will be toward
these new plants, if the advantage of the natural gradients of the
terrain were to be followed. A superior plan would be to divert all
future flows to the proposed Northwest Plant for treatment and dis-
charge to the Sacramento River and to delete the North Central Plant
from the county master plan. Extension of the local sewer collection
system north of the American River should be planned on the basis of
the need to divert flows to these proposed plants to minimize nutrient
discharge to the river.
For effective waste management, centralizing waste disposal sites has
many advantages. Not only will capital, maintenance, operation, and
replacement costs be reduced, but also the centralized facilities will
be better suited to advanced treatment processes than will many scatter-
ed units.
To make the maximum use of available water resources, effluent from the
existing Arden, Cordova, Northeast and Aerojet-General Plants should
be reclaimed for recreational and irrigation uses within the American
River Parkway, including the Caliofrnia Exposition. The proposed
County Parkway Plan includes recreation lakes and an extensive green-
belt covering more than 3,500 acres of land. Reclaimed sewage has
been used successfully for recreation lakes and park irrigation else-
where in California. Such reclamation will conform with the intent
of recent state legislation which actively supports the reuse of re-
claimed sewage as a means of fully developing the water resources of
the state. Sewage effluent could be stored at several proposed recre-
ation lakes located within the American River Parkway, and water could
be withdrawn from these lakes for greenbelt irrigation as needed. The
total capacity of the existing treatment plants is about 24 mgd
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(26,500 acre-feet per year). If this quantity of water, diminished by
percolation losses from recreation lakes, exceeds the needs of the
American River Parkway, or any other section of the area, surplus water
could be released to the Lower American River during the peak runoff
season (December through March) when greater dilution capacity would be
available and undesirable aquatic growths would not be prevalent.
Under this proposal, the only effluent reaching surface waters of the
Lower American River would be derived from the Aerojet-General Corp-
oration area. Even here, efforts should be made to use effluent from
Aerojet operations for irrigation or to divert it to percolation ponds,
which have been successful until recently in limiting waste discharge
to surface water. These percolation ponds were lately removed under
a storm drainage improvement project. Ultimately, future expansion
of the sewerage system in the Areojet area should consider the diver-
sion of waste to the county's Central Plant near Freeport.
If the reclamation plan for reuse of sewage in the American River Park-
way is not enacted, minimum flows will be required to control nutrient
discharges from existing plants. Minimum flows for nitrogen and phos-
phorus control in the reaches upstream and downstream from the city
intake system, shown in Table 12, will be required from May to October
when algal and aquatic growths are most likely to be harmful. To
dilute the nitrogen load from the existing secondary sewage treatment
plants, flows of 1,000 cfs will be needed upstream from the city water
intake system, and 700 cfs will be needed downstream. For limitation
of phosphorus concentrations, flows of 2,500 cfs and 2,000 cfs will be
needed upstream and downstream respectively. If 50 percent of the
nitrogen load reaches the river, a flow of 500 cfs upstream and 300 cfs
downstream will be needed. Phosphorus control needs ror 50 percent
return to the river will be 1,500 cfs and 1,200 cfs respectively. How-
ever, with a lower return of phosphorus (25 percent), the dilution
flow will be decreased to 750 cfs and 500 cfs respectively.
Lower nutrient return rates were not evaluated since even with total
reuse of plant effluents, a portion of the fertilizing load will reach
the river by surface and sub-surface migration. The 50 percent and
25 percent returns of nitrogen and phosphorus respectively, are the
best estimates presently available for nutrient recycling to the river
after land application on the American River Parkway.
Since the control of nitrogen levels will be the most effective means
to suppress eutrophic conditions in the river, augmentation releases
for this purpose will be nominal, as shown on Table 12. With the
discharge of all the effluent from existing sewage treatment plants
into the river (100% return), flows of 1,000 cfs upstream of the water
intake and 700 cfs downstream will be required. To maintain these flows*
additional releases above mean project releases of 1,800 AF/year
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TABLE 12 - FLOW REQUIREMENT FOR CONTROL OF NUTRIENTS IN
EXISTING SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT EFFLUENTS
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
NUTRIENT
NUTRIENT^
RETURN
TO RIVER
(%)
FLOW^
REQUIREMENT
UP/DOWN-
STREAM (cfs)
AUGMENTATION RELEASE ^
(AF/YR)
1975 2000 2000
Nitrogen control 100
50
1000/700
500/300
0
0
1,800
0
35,000
0
Phosphorus control 100
50
25
2500/2000
1500/1200
750/500
0
0
0
258,000
60,000
0
336,000
155,000
0
a/ Nutrient return to river is based on proportion of sewage effluent
reclaimed for American River Parkway and proportion of this nutrient
load returned with subsurface and surface flows.
b/ Upstream - above city of Sacramento water intake system.
Downstream - below city of Sacramento water intake system.
/ Augmentation flows, in addition to project releases required
during recreation season, May-October under mean conditions.
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will be required by the year 2000 and these releases will increase to
35,000 AF/year by 2025. These releases are nominal and could be
supplied coincidentally by the increased flows for fishery purposes
which are presently being considered by the Bureau of Sport Fisheries
and Wildlife and the Bureau of Reclamation.
In summary, the annual augmentation flows needed at various stages of
development and at different levels of nutrient return to the river
are shown on Table 12 for nitrogen and phosphorus control. If the
entire effluent flow from the existing treatment plants were to be dis-
charged to the river, a mean annual augmentation flow of 1,800 acre-
feet in the year 2000 would be needed for nitrogen control. This annual
flow requirement would increase to 35,000 acre-feet by the year 2025.
For phosphorus control, a mean annual augmentation of 258,000 acre-feet
and 336,000 acre-feet, respectively, would be needed over the same
periods. Lower flows would be required commensurate with the degree of
effluent reuse for the American River Parkway irrigation. Since nitro-
gen should limit the process of eutrophication, the cost of augmentation
flow necessary to control nitrogen concentration was evaluated. As
these releases are relatively small, only electrical power cost for
pumping of releases to the Folsom South Canal through the Hood-Clay
Pump Station was considered. It was found that these costs will have
a present worth (1975) of $125,000 or an annual cost of $5,900 when
discounted over a 100-year period. If all the effluent from the exist-
ing plants were used for irrigation, augmentation flows above scheduled
releases would not be needed and additional costs would not be incurred.
Alternately, under the sewage diversion plan, the effluent from the
existing sewage treatment plant could be provided advanced treatment
for nutrient removal and effluent discharged to the river. Augment-
ation flow will not be required, but advanced treatment costs having a
maximum present (1975) worth of $8,230,000 or an equivalent annual cost
of $385,000 will be required. This figure will decrease if all or
part of the effluent from existing plants is used for irrigation of the
American River Parkway. The equivalent annual cost for providing advanced
treatment to the effluents of existing plants is greater than provision
for dilution of the nutrient load.
To complete the comparisons of alternatives, the remaining costs of the
sewer diversion scheme were analyzed. Cost estimates were made for
the force mains across the American River from the Arden and Northeast
Plants and these were added to the force main cost of diverting sewage
from the Cordova Plant to the Central Plant. Included in this plan
was the cost of 16 miles of gravity sewers from the boundary of the
Cordova District to the Central Plant. This new sewer collection
system (see Figure 6) will be merged with the sewer requirements of the
master plan of the area so that the total costs for connecting gravity
sewers can be shared. The cost for the enlargement of the Central Plant
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and the proposed North Central Plant to handle future diverted flows
will be less than that for expansion of the four smaller existing plants.
In short, the merits of a large centralized sewage treatment system will
make the best use of waste management practices as recommended by the
Aerojet-General Corporation (13).
Based upon preliminary data, the total cost for this diversion was
estimated to be about $14,000,000. As a single purpose alternative was
considered, advantage was not assigned for centralized treatment or
combined interceptor sewer costs to serve jointly the area south of
the American River, thus, the cost of diversion has been estimated con-
servatively. The present worth (1975) of the diversion cost is about
$5,688,000, since major capital costs could be deferred until the year
1990 by taking advantage of surplus capacities in existing master sewers
on the south side of the river leading to the Central Plant (see figure
7), Further, more efficient removal of phosphorus in existing second-
ary sewage treatment plants (22,23) will also provide an additional
margin of safety to permit deferral of construction of the master sewer
until the year 1990.
The annual cost of the diversion when the capital investment is dis-
counted over the 100-year project evaluation period at 4-5/8 percent,
will be about $266,000. This annual amortization cost will be increased
by maintenance, replacement, and operation costs for the sewers and
pumping plants, including power consumption. These costs have been
estimated to reach a maximum of $55,000 per annum by the year 2000. When
discounted, the present (1975) worth of the annual maintenance operation
and replacement costs will be about $30,000, thus increasing the total
annual cost for the diversion plan to about $296,000. This amount can
be reduced because reclaimed sewage effluent for parkway irrigation was
not included as a benefit.
3. Summary of Alternative Plans
A summary of alternative plans is shown in Table 13. Advanced treatment
for nutrient stripping will result in the highest cost ($967,000/annum),
followed by the plan for stream augmentation for nutrient control
($350,000/annum). The regulation of flow for nutrient control will
provide only an interim solution, since by the year 2000 even the total
runoff from the basin will not supply sufficient water for phosphorus
control. The least costly plan will be provision for the diversion of
waste from the basin into the Sacramento River. Under this diversion
plan additional costs for additional flow for nutrient control or
advanced treatment of effluent from the existing plants will be incurred,
depending on the degree of reuse of effluent on the American River Park-
way. The total annual cost for diversion of future waste and provision
for the advanced treatment of all effluent from existing plants will
range from $296,000 to $687,000 per year. The lower cost reflects
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maximum reuse of sewage effluent for park Irrigation. If the diversion
plan is merged with control of nutrient loads from existing plants by flow
augmentation, annual cost will range from $296,000 to $302,000; the
lower cost is associated with maximum reuse of effluent for park irrig-
ation.
In summary, it is concluded that the least costly plan should include
the diversion of all future waste water from the Lower American River
and the maximum reuse of effluent from existing plants for irrigation
in the American River Parkway.
TABLE 13 - ALTERNATIVE PLANS FOR MITIGATION OF WATER
QUALITY PROBUEMS WITH PROJECT CONDITIONS
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
PRESENT a/
WORTH (1975)
EQUIVALENT a/
ANNUAL COST
ALTERNATIVE PLANS
Million Dollars
Advanced Treatment	$	20.680
Augmentation of Flow	7.500
Diversion of Waste - range of costs 6.325 - 14.680
Capital Cost Conveyance System	5.688
Maintenance, Operation &	0.637
Replacement
Control of Nutrient Loads from 0 to 0.125
Existing Sewage Plant Efflu-
ents by Flow Augmentation b/
Advanced Treatment of Existing 0 to 8,230
Effluent b/
0.296 -
0.967
0.350
0.687
0.266
0.030
0 to 0.006
0 to 0.385
a/ Evaluation discounted at 4-5/8 percent over 100 years.
b/ Alternatives for effluent of existing plants. Range of costs depends
on degree of reuse of effluent for American River Parkway irrigation.
ALTERNATIVES UNDER CONDITIONS WITHOUT PROJECT
To provide a basis upon which to determine the amelioration costs attrib-
utable to the project itself, alternative costs were determined for the
correction of the excessive nutrient concentrations under river con-
ditions without the project and proposed diversions to the Folsom South
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Canal. The control of nutrient concentrations is a possiblity that could
be realized only by provision of reservoir storage for augmentation flows
and therefore is not realistic of conditions without the project reserv-
oirs and diversions. Therefore, only alternative means other than flow
regulation were evaluated and these are discussed as follows:
1.	Advanced Waste-Treatment Methods
As previously discussed, advanced treatment methods are available to
reduce the nutrient content of effluent before discharge into the river,
thereby maintaining acceptable nutrient levels in the receiving waters.
Augmentation flows would not be required under these conditions. How-
ever, the requirement for advanced treatment will exist by the year
1975 which is earlier than under project conditions. The lower dry-
season flows under conditions without the project, create this earlier
need. Using treatment cost figures previously noted, an annual cost
beginning in 1975, and rising to $1,792,000 by the year 2000 will be
incurred. This annual cost will rise further to about $3,114,000 by
2025 to provide treatment for the expanding urban area. The present
worth (1975) for provision of advanced treatment of sewage effluent will
be about $29,380,000, or about $1,374,000 per annum when evaluated over
a 100-year period, discounted at 4-5/8 percent.
2.	Diversion of Wastes from the Lower American River
In lieu of advanced treatment of waste waters, all future increases in
sewage flow, above the capacity of existing sewage plants could be
diverted and provided secondary treatment in the large Central Plant
located near Freeport and discharged into the Sacramento River where the
flow would be greater. This plan would be identical with that proposed
under project conditions, as previously discussed except that mainten-
ance, operation, and replacement costs for the sewage diversion plan
would decrease in accordance with the reduced population growths and
lower sewage flows expected under conditions without the project. This
population constraint has been calculated to be about 15 percent on the
projected growth. However, capital costs for sewers and pumping install-
ations would not be reduced since the 15 percent reduction in sewage
flows would not significantly affect the sizing of the sewerage systems
which are normally designed for peak flows and available sewer sizes.
Therefore, for the purpose of this study, these costs are assumed to be
the same as for project conditions.
Without the project, diversion needs would develop by the year 1975.
However, the installation of the major collection system south of the
American River could be deferred to the year 1990 by using the excess
capacity in the existing main collection system leading to the Central
Area Sewage Treatment Plant. Thus, the present value (1975) of the
capital cost (5.7 million) for the diversion system, as previously
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estimated, combined with the reduced maintenance, operation, and re-
placement costs ($630,000), would total about $6,318,000 when evaluated
over a 100-year period. Discounted at 4-5/8 percent, the annual cost
would be about $296,000.
The costs for flow regulation or advanced treatment of the effluent from
existing sewage treatment plants would not vary from expected costs un-
der project conditions since these existing plant capacities would be
exceeded even with the projected population constraints expected with-
out the project. The range of costs reflecting the degree of effluent
reuse for irrigation on the American River Parkway is shown on Table
14 along with a summary of other alternative costs under conditions with-
out the project.
TABLE 14 - ALTERNATIVE PLANS FOR MITIGATION OF WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS
WITHOUT PROJECT CONDITIONS - LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
ALTERNATIVE PLANS
.' PRESENT a/
! WORTH (1975) j
EQUIVALENT a/
ANNUAL COST"

Million Dollars
Advanced Treatment
$ 29.380 $
1.374
Diversion of Waste - range of costs
6.318 to 14.673 0.
296 to 0.687
Capital Cost Conveyance System
5.688
0.266
Maintenance, Operation and
Replacement
0.630
0.030
Dilution of Existing Sewage^
Plant Effluent
0 to 0.125 0
to 0.006
Advanced Treatment of
Existing Effluent
0 to 8.230 0
to 0.385
a/ Evaluation discounted at 4-5/8 percent over 100 years.
b/ Alternatives for disposal of effluent from existing plant. Range
of costs depends on degree of effluent reuse on the American River
Parkway irrigation.
3. Comparative Costs With and Without the Project
To evaluate comparative costs for the amelioration of future nutrient
loads under river conditions with and without the project, the corrective
costs shown in Table 13 are compared to corrective costs shown on Table
14. If the least costly plans under each condition were to be compared,
it is evident that the costs are about the same for the correction of
the excessive fertilization of the river. The least costly plan for
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both conditions is the provision for the diversion of wastes into the
Central Plant for treatment and maximum reuse of effluent from sewage
treatment plants for irrigation in the American River Parkway (see
Table 13 and 14). Since the costs are about equivalent for conditions
with or without the project it can be stated that the impact of the
project on water quality of the Lower American River is not significant.
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X. OTHER EFFECTS OF PROJECT ON WATER QUALITY
EFFECTS ON SACRAMENTO - SAN JOAQUIN DELTA
Evaluation of the impact of the project upon water quality must take
into consideration not only the effects within the local study area
but also its more widespread external effects. In the study area, degra-
dation of the mineral quality is anticipated from impoundment and from
the consumptive use of project water. Deterioration results from
natural evaporation of stored and applied irrigation water and also
from solution of salts during transmission of applied irrigation water
through the ground-water system. Increases in TDS and specific minerals
can therefore be expected in both surface and ground-water drainage from
the study basins. The degradation is not expected to create any pro-
blems since water quality will be suitable for planned uses despite the
degradation and, furthermore, reuse of return flows will be minimal, if
the recommended diversion plan is carried out.
The more widespread effects of the project on the beneficial uses of
water in the Central Valley and the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta
should be considered. Preservation of water quality in the Sacramento
River Basin and in the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta is dependent upon
adequate treatment of municipal and industrial wastes before discharge
and upon the maintenance of adequate streamflow to provide conveyance of
residual conservative and nonconservative waste to ultimate disposal in
the Pacific Ocean. Dilution or conveyance water is particularly import-
ant in the disposal of drainage from irrigated agricultural land, since
adequate treatment systems are not usually feasible. Maintenance of
acceptable water quality must be considered in the development of water
supplies for irrigated agriculture since the resulting diminution of
flow and production of concentrated return flows could have significant
adverse effects in the basin.
The long-term carryover yield of the Central Valley Project (CVP) will
be increased by about 300,000 acre-feet annually as a result of the
Auburn-Folsom South project. At present this amount constitutes a part
of the atmual Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta outflow. The value of this
outflow to Delta water could be significant, and its loss through con-
sumptive use could contribute to the degradation of water quality in
the delta.
Water quality standards have been established in compliance with the
Federal Water Quality Act of 1965 (PB 89-234). It is most probable
that the maintenance of these standards will depend primarily on main-
taining an adequate outflow from the Delta to convey conserative wastes
from the Sacramento - San Joaquin River Basins and for repelling the
incursion of sea water. The maintenance of this delta outflow during
63

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critical summer months depends on the integrated operation of all units
of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. Because
the Auburn-Folsom South Unit is only one of many units of the CVP and
because the operation of the CVP is complex, it is not possible to re-
late the required Delta outflow in a direct manner to the 300,000 acre-
feet annual yield to be developed in Aubum-Folsora South Unit. There-
fore, the operation of the entire CVP, including all existing and
future units, should avoid lowering the delta outflow in quality as
well as quantity below that which will be necessary to maintain water
quality at least equal to the standards which have been established by
the State of California and the Federal government.
64

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REFERENCES
1.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, PUBLIC
HEALTH SERVICE. A Preliminary Evaluation of Stream Flow
Requirements for Water Quality Control, San Joaquin Valley
and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. June 1963.
2.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. Compilation
of Records of Surface Waters of the United States, Pacific
Slope Basins. WSP 1315A (1959) and WSP 1735 (1966).
Government Printing Office.
3.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. Geologic
Features and Ground Water Storage Capacity of the Sacramento
Valley, California. WSP 1497, Government Printing Office,
1961.
4.	CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES. Folson-East Sacramento
Ground Water Quality Investigation. Bulletin No. 133,
March 1964.
5.	CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES. Quality of Surface
Water in California. Bulletin No. 65, 1951-1961.
6.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, PUBLIC
HEALTH SERVICE. Drinking Water Standards. Government
Printing Office, 1962.
7.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. Temperature
of Surface Waters in Conterminous United States. Hydrologic
Investigation ATLAS HA-235, Government Printing Office, 1966.
8.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. Report
on the Feasibility of Water Supply Development, Auburn Unit,
CVP, California 1960.
9.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BUREAU OF CENSUS. Census of
Agriculture. Government Printing Office, 1964.
10.	U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BUREAU OF CENSUS. Census of
Population. Government Printing Office, 1963.
11.	SACRAMENTO COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT. The Sacramento County
General Plan, 1965 and Preliminary Amendment, American River
Parkway, 1967.
12.	DEWANTE AND STOWELL, CONSULTING ENGINEERS. Sacramento County
Sewerage Survey, 1959-1960.
65

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13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24,
AEROJET-GENERAL CORPORATION, VON KAKMAN CENTER. California
Waste Management Study, 1965.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE.
A Detailed Report on Fish and Wildlife Resources Affected
by Auburn-Folsora South Unit, California. 1963.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME. A Report to the
California State Water Rights Board on the Fish and
Wildlife Resources of the American River to be Affected by
the Auburn Dam and Reservoir and the Folsom South Canal
and Measures Proposed to Maintain these Resources. 1967.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF OUTDOOR RECREATION.
Preliminary Results of Recreation Study-Lower American
River, California. September 1967.
TARZWELL, C. M., Dissolved Oxygen Requirement for Fish.
In: Oxygen Relationships in Streams. United States
Public Health Service Technical Report W58-2, 1958.
THOMANN, R. V., Time Series Analysis of Water Quality Data.
Jour. Sanitary Engineering Division, ASCE Vol. 93,
SAI (February 1967).
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, PUBLIC
HEALTH SERVICE. Limnological Aspects of Recreational
Lakes. Government Printing Office, 1964.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION
CONTROL ADMINISTRATION. Inter Departmental Task Force on
Project Potomac, Sub-Task Force on Water Quality, February
1967.
WEINBERGER, L. W., D. G. STEPHAN, AND F. M. MIDDLETON. Solving
Our Water Problems - Water Renovation and Reuse. New York
Academy of Science, 1966.
VACKER, D., C. H. CONNELL, AND W. N. WELLS. Phosphate Removal
Through Municipal Wastewater Treatment at San Antonio,
Texas. Jour. Water Pollution Control Federation, Vol. 39,
5 (May 1967).
LEVEN, G. V. AND J. SHAPIRO. Metabolic Uptake o Phosphorus
by Wastewater Organisms. Jour. Water Pollution Control
Federation, Vol. 37, 6 (June 1965).
WEIBEL, S. R., R. J. ANDERSON, AND R. L. WOODWARD. Urban Land
Runoff as a Factor in Stream Pollution. Jour. Water
Pollution Control Federation, Vol. 36, 7 (July 1964).
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25.	O'CONNELL, R. L. AND N. A THOMAS. Effects of Benthic Algae
on Stream Dissolved Oxygen. Jour. Sanitary Engineering
Division, ASCE Vol. 91 SA3, (June 1965).
26.	ELIASSEN, R. AND G. E. BENNETT. Anion Exchange and Filtration
Techniques for Wastewater Renovation. Jour. Water Pollution
Control Federation, Vol. 39, 10R (October 1967).
27.	SAWYER, C. N. AND J. C. BUZZELL. Removal of Algal Nutrient
from Raw Wastewater with Lime. Jour. Water Pollution
Control Federation, Vol. 39, 10R, (October 1967).
28.	CULP, Go Wastewater Reclamation at South Tahoe Public Utilities
District. Jour. American Water Works Association, Vol. 60,
1, January 1968.
29.	BRUNNER, C. A. Pilot-Plant Experiences in Demineralization of
Secondary Effluent Using Electrodialysis. Jour. Water
Pollution Control Federation, Vol. 39, 10R, (October 1967).
30.	MONTGOMERY, J. M. Report on Water System. Consultant Report
to City of Sacramento, California, 1958.
67
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