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FoRR took to the river on April 14 to monitor at five sites in the Reedy River watershed! Our sites include the following:
The pH results for April were consistent with March's findings at all five of our reported sites. Conductivity varied slightly at all sites except for our site near Swamp Rabbit Cafe, where the results did not change.
The dissolved oxygen (DO) levels decreased by an average of 1.14 mg/L across all sites. It is important to remember the inverse relationship between temperature and DO capacity in water: the warmer the temperature, the lower the water's capacity to hold DO! This month's air and water temperatures were considerably higher than during March's sampling event, with the water temperature increasing an average of 4.6 degrees across all sites. FoRR's teams sample at their respective sites at the same time of day each month, so the water temperature changes truly reflect seasonal differences, not hourly fluctuations. The rising metabolisms of aquatic animals as warmer weather persists further impacts oxygen availability in the water. More active animals have higher oxygen usage, which in turn removes more oxygen from the water as the organisms process it! We expect to see DO levels continue to fall as temperatures rise.
April's E. coli bacteria levels showed relatively minor increases from our last sample date at most sites. Falls Park showed a significant decrease from March's unseasonably high results, falling back to a level that is normal to find this time of year and that falls below the "high count" threshold of 349 CFU/100mL at just 333 CFU/100mL. ReWa's results are higher than we typically find this time of year for that location (433 CFU/100mL). While the levels are not cause for concern, we will keep a watchful eye in the coming months to ensure this is not a continuing trend. As with dissolved oxygen, air and water temperatures impact bacteria levels. Warmer air temperatures also indicate the reintroduction of waterfowl back to the area and warmer water temperatures form a more viable habitat for bacteria growth. We expect to see raised E. coli bacteria counts until temperatures drop again in the fall.
We have included this month's results along with SC's state standards for comparison below. All results were within state standards.
Data from April 2022: