See the Latest Water Quality Monitoring Data from the FoRR Monitoring Team!
FoRR took to the river on April 14 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 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:
- 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!