See the Latest Water Quality Monitoring Data from the FoRR Monitoring Team!
FoRR took to the river on August 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: Reedy River on Greenville Tech's Brashier campus in Simpsonville
- Site #5: Reedy River in Cedar Falls Park in Simpsonville
The pH results for August were consistent with last month's findings, showing very minor fluctuations if any. Three of our five sites showed no change at all from July’s results.
Conductivity levels showed very little variation from July’s sampling results at the sites where it was tested, only changing between 10 µS/cm to 30 µS/cm across the Greenville sites.
The dissolved oxygen (DO) levels increased very slightly at all sites except for Greenville Tech Brashier which showed no change. Across all sites (including Greenville Tech which changed 0 mg/L), DO showed an average increase of 0.26 mg/L. The increased DO levels can be attributed to the much lower air and water temperatures this month. Air temperatures decreased an average of 4.4˚C from our July sample dates to August’s. Water temperatures followed suit, decreasing an average of 3˚C at our sites since July. If temperatures continue to decrease, we expect DO to increase in the coming months due to the inverse relationship between DO and temperature. The lower the temperature, the higher the water's capacity to hold DO.
E. coli bacteria results are also impacted by water temperature. This month, E. coli counts decreased at all sites except for Greenville Tech Brashier, which only increased by a minimal 33CFU/100mL. At all other sites, the E. coli levels dropped by a range of 33.67 CFU/100mL at Falls Park to a 333 CFU/100mL decrease at the ReWa site. The lower temperatures are not the only likely reason for this decrease. The recent lack of consistent, heavy rainfall results in significantly less disturbed sediments in the streambed. Sediment serves as a reservoir for E. coli, so when sediment is disturbed by high flows or other sources of agitation, the sequestered E. coli can be released into the water. This month’s combination of significantly lower water temperatures and lower than usual water flow levels likely contributed to the decreased E. coli counts in our samples for August.
We have included this month's results along with SC's state standards for comparison below. All results were within state standards.
Data from August 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!