Guidelines for Liming Acidified Streams and Rivers

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Water Resources Research Center


Our companion publication on this topic, Guidelines for Liming Acidified Lakes and Ponds>/i> covers the addition of limestone, calcium carbonate (CaCQ3) to nonflowing surface waters. You may want to order a copy of that publication. The general information on liming lakes and ponds may be of interest and useful if you are considering whether to treat a river or stream.

Limestone can be added to streams whose watersheds are deficient in natural calcium carbonate deposits and, therefore, have limited capacity to neutralize acid loadings. This publication addresses the addition of limestone to flowing water systems, primarily small headwater streams, that are affected by acid deposition or mine acid drainage. Five different methods of applying limestone are presented, and the advantages and disadvantages of using each method are compared. Appendices provide conversion factors for relevant measurements, a simple limestone dosage model used for calculating application rates in streams, examples of experimental limestone application sites, and water quality requirements for selected sport fish.