See the Latest Water Quality Monitoring Data from the FoRR Monitoring Team!
FoRR took to the river on February 11 and 15 to monitor at five sites in the Reedy River watershed! Our sites include the following:
- Site #1: Reedy River along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, downstream of Swamp Rabbit Cafe
- Site #2: A small tributary of the Reedy River in Falls Park
- Site #3: Reedy River behind the ReWa headquarters (near our new office!)
- Site #4: A tributary on Greenville Tech's Brashier campus in Simpsonville
- Site #5: A tributary in Cedar Falls Park in Simpsonville
The pH results for February were consistent with January's findings at all five of our reported sites. Conductivity was also consistent at the sites where it was sampled.
The dissolved oxygen (DO) for all sites was very consistent from January to February, more or less maintaining January's increased DO levels. These consistent results are likely due to consistent weather patterns in the weeks preceding both month's sampling events. The only site that showed a noticeable change was Falls Park with an increase of 1.0 mg/L (up to 10.3 mg/L from January's 9.3 mg/L). We expect the DO levels to begin to drop as water and air temperatures increase with the spring temperatures in the coming months. Warmer water has lower capacity to store dissolved oxygen, plus as aquatic organisms begin to become more active, their metabolisms will increase which in turn causes an increased demand on the dissolved oxygen for use by these critters.
E. coli bacteria levels showed very minor fluctuations, but are all normal for this time of year and consistent with our findings from last month. We can also expect to see bacteria levels gradually increase once again as the temperatures rise. Not only does warmer water foster a better habitat for e. coli (a rare situation where habitat improvement is NOT desirable!), but we will also see the return of waterfowl along our streams, particularly near Falls Park, which leads to increased introduction of e. coli to our waters. Because of this, we expect to see a gradual increase in e. coli bacteria colony forming units as temperatures begin to rise.
We have included the SC State Standards below for comparison to our results.
Data from February 2022:
- 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.
- Conductivity is the ability of the water to pass an electric charge and shows the presence of ions in the water, such as salt, nitrate, phosphate, and many others. The bedrock in the watershed can also affect conductivity
- 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!
THE FORR MONITORING TEAM USES SC ADOPT-A-STREAM TECHNIQUES AND HAS ITS OWN MONITORING KIT, THANKS TO IVY SALON!
SIGN UP TO JOIN THE FORR MONITORING TEAM HERE!
SEE THE UPCOMING SC ADOPT-A-STREAM WORKSHOPS HERE!