Joy Ackerman, PhD
Department of Environmental Studies
An extensive literature review of the ecological effects of high iron content in water indicates that aquatic life, including fish and macroinvertebrates, show decreased density and diversity in higher than normal levels of water-borne iron. Macroinvertebrate sampling in high iron and low iron reaches of the Mill River within the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Northampton, Nassachusetts indicated that higher levels of iron did result in decreased Macroinvertebrate species diversity and density. Wetland surveying adjacent to the high iron reach did not show groundwater flow toward this section of the river, although underlying groundwater or surface water flow toward the river cannot be ruled out.