It is a well-known fact that baseflow discharge of rainfall runoff significantly impacts the quality of surface water. In this paper, the impact of nitrates discharged as baseflow on stream water quality were studied using PULSE, a hydrograph separation software developed by USGS, to calculate the monthly baseflow discharge. We took water quality and flow rate data from a monitoring station site (code: Ghapcehon2) in Daejeon city and acquired 2005 groundwater quality data in the watershed from government agencies. Agricultural and forestry land use are dominant in the area. The baseflow contributes 85%–95% of stream flows during the spring and fall, 25%–38% during the summer and winter. The monthly nitrate loading discharged as baseflow for Ghapcheon2 was estimated by using monitored nitrate concentrations of groundwater in the watershed. Nitrate loading induced by baseflow at Ghapcheon2 was estimated as 5.4 tons of NO3−-N/km2, which is about 60% of nitrate loading of surface water, or 9.2 tons of NO3−-N/km2. This study shows that groundwater quality monitoring is important for proper management of surface water quality.
Keywords: baseflow, groundwater, hydrograph separation, nitrate, rainfall runoff, water quality