Detritus material in forest watersheds is the major terrestrial source of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors in water bodies used as drinking water sources and is also a fuel that can ignite wildfires. In these watersheds, hot temperatures and dry conditions increase the likelihood of high-severity wildfires. To help reduce this risk, low-severity prescribed burning is used as a forest management practice to reduce fuel loads from forest floor detritus material. In either high- or low-severity fires, DOM exported to source waters from managed watersheds is likely to have different characteristics and treatability compared to DOM exported from unburned watersheds. These potential source water quality changes may require that drinking water utilities adapt their treatment processes to account for these changes. Modeling and decision support tools can help explore treatability and adaptation strategies for these impacted water systems.

Media Record Details

Sep 29, 2020
Alex T. Chow, Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz, Joseph Kasprzyk

Cataloging Information

Fire Effects
Ecological - Second Order
Fuel Treatments & Effects
Prescribed Fire-use treatments

NRFSN number: 22181
FRAMES RCS number: 62021
Record updated: May 25, 2023