News From The River

See the Latest Water Quality Monitoring Data from the FoRR Monitoring Team!

FoRR took to the river on September 12 to monitor three sites in the Reedy River watershed. Our sites include the following:

Site #1: Reedy River just downstream of Swamp Rabbit Cafe

Site #2: A small tributary of the Reedy River in Falls Park 

Sit #3: Reedy River on Mauldin Road upstream of ReWa's headquarters

The pH results for September were consistent with our findings in August, with sites only showing small decreases from August’s results.


The air and water temperatures for September’s sampling event stayed consistent from August, only deviating from last month’s results by +/1 1C at each site. The air temperatures at all three sites ranged from 25C to 27C. The water temperatures decreased from last month’s results with all sites decreasing by at least 1 degree with an overall range of 22C to 23C. The average air temperature was 26C and the average water temperature was 22.3C.


September’s dissolved oxygen (DO) results either increased or remained the same from last month’s levels across all sites. This correlates directly with the cooler temperatures since cooler water has a higher capacity for dissolved oxygen. Falls Park showed the most notable DO increase, likely due to the flows returning to normal levels rather than being in a lower-flow state like we observed last month. Swamp Rabbit Café had the highest DO levels this month at 7.7 mg/L. This is higher than we usually find this early in the fall, but waters with high DO levels can better sustain aquatic life, so we are pleased to see this result and hope that the other two sites will follow suit next month as temperatures continue to decrease. The DO levels at all three sites ranged from 6.8 mg/L at both Falls Park and Mauldin Road to 7.7 mg/L at Swamp Rabbit Café. The average DO level this month was 7.1 mg/L.


The E. coli bacteria results for September’s monitoring event were much lower than we found in August, with all sites showing significant decreases. In August, the average E. coli bacteria CFU count was 411 cfu/100mL, but in September the average decreased to only 244.3 cfu/100mL. This is a much-needed decrease, and we are glad to see levels all returning to normal/lower levels. The E. coli counts at Mauldin Road showed the most significant decrease dropping from 467 cfu/100mL in August to only 233 cfu/100mL in September. The site with the highest bacteria count this month was Falls Park with only 333 cfu/100mL, which is still below the “high” threshold of 349 cfu/100mL and well below the problematic threshold of 1,000 cfu/100mL.


September’s turbidity results were the exact same as August’s at all sites with each of the three locations all registering for 5 NTUs. This means the water was fairly clear at all three locations and we will continue to monitor to ensure results stay consistent in the coming months.


September’s results and the SC state standards are included for comparison below. All results were within SC state standards.


September 2023 Monitoring Results:

  • pH is a way of measuring the H+ ions in a water sample, or if the sample is acidic or basic. pH is influenced by the concentration of acids in rain, and the types of soils and bedrock present in the watershed. Ideally, rivers will have a neutral pH, or a value of 7.
  • The available dissolved oxygen (DO) in a water sample is important for fish health and life within a body of water. DO can increase in lower temperatures, turbulence in the water, photosynthesis in the stream, and diffusion from the atmosphere. DO can decrease in higher temperatures, in slow-moving and deep water, and in the presence of decaying organic matter.
  • E. coli Bacteria counts are found by incubating a water sample that was placed on a medium, then counting the number of coliform forming units. These values are higher in areas where animals are present so always remember to pick up after your pets and don't feed the geese in the park!
  • Turbidity, the cloudiness of water, is quantified with the unit of measurement “NTU,” which stands for “Nephelometric Turbidity Units”. Low NTU readings indicate clearer water and high readings indicate very turbid, or cloudy, water. NTU readings typically range from 1 to 4,000, with 1 being clear water and 4,000 having very little transparency and high turbidity (think of the cloudiness of milk). 

Sign up to join the FoRR monitoring team HERE!

Find an SC Adopt-a-Stream event near you to become certified HERE!

The FoRR Monitoring Team uses SC Adopt-a-Stream techniques and has its own monitoring kits, thanks to Ivy Salon and The Greenville Zoo Conservation Fund.

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