WATER QUALITY MONITORING
The purpose of the US EPA approved plan is to collect samples that are representative of actual field conditions and be defensible in a court of law. This plan includes procedures for groundwater, surface water, fluvial sediment, macroinvertebrates, fish tissue, and passive sampling protocols. In 2014 this plan was updated.
WATER QUALITY INDICATORS
The DEQ-WQP has created water quality indicators for our sampling program. These indicators focus sampling efforts, reduce costs, and allow evaluation of key water quality trends. Some of the indicators include:
- Change in Macroinvertebrate Richness
- Changes in Stream Chemistry
- Miles of Waterbodies that Support Recreation
- Nutrient Criteria Exceedances
- Metals Criteria Exceedances
The DEQ-WQP samples groundwater from DEQ groundwater monitor wells and other water wells within the Community on a regular basis. Groundwater is analyzed for:
- General Chemistry
Each year, chemical analyses are performed on a variety of surface waters throughout the Community. Chemical assessments are important because many chemicals that can be found in water are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. Both field and laboratory measurements are used for assessment purposes.
- Total Dissolved Solids
- Dissolved Oxygen Concentration
- Dissolved Oxygen Percent Saturation
- Air and Water Temperature
- Specific Conductivity
Laboratory Analytical Measurements
- General Chemistry
- Major Cations and Anions
- Nutrient Concentrations
- Total Metal Concentrations
- Dissolved Metal Concentrations
- Bacteria Concentrations
- Suspended Sediment
The DEQ-WQP collects fish from several water bodies within the Community to evaluate the accumulation of toxins in their tissue which is an indicator of chronic water quality problems.
FLUVIAL SEDIMENT AND PHYSICAL INTEGRITY
The dynamic balance and stability of a surface water over time is measured and assessed by the surface waters dimension, pattern, and profile. Naturally stable surface waters (those with physical integrity) can be described as having a dynamic balance between erosion and deposition. The DEQ-WQP measures physical integrity on a project by project basis using the Rosgen approach.