News From The River

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

FoRR took to the river on November 7 and 22 to monitor at five sites along the Reedy River! 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 

Site #3: Reedy River behind the ReWa headquarters

Site #4: Reedy River on Greenville Tech's Brashier campus in Simpsonville

Site #5: Reedy River in Cedar Falls Park in Simpsonville

Stay tuned for opportunities to volunteer by sampling water quality through macroinvertebrate monitoring soon!


The pH results for November were the same as or consistent with last month's findings for the sites in the Greenville area, showing very minor fluctuations, if any, despite the much warmer temperatures. The two downstream-most sites (Greenville Tech Brashier and Cedar Falls Park) had somewhat significant decreases in pH levels (1 and 0.75, respectively) from last month’s results, showing a return to normal pH levels at all sites.


The air temperatures for November’s results varied greatly due to a large gap in sample dates between the Greenville and Simpsonville teams. The Greenville team sampled on November 7, when we had above-average temperatures and had experienced heavy rainfall in the week prior, although there had been no rain in the last 24 hours. The Greenville sites were sampled on an unseasonably warm day, which led to air temperature increases of up to 5. The average air temperature for the three Greenville sites was 22, whereas the average air temperature for the Simpsonville sites which were sampled two weeks later on November 22 was only 11.5. November’s Greenville Tech Brashier reading was only 10-- 12 lower than October’s result!


Water temperatures for the Greenville sites in November averaged 18.3, but the Simpsonville water temperatures on November 22 were both 10. The impacts of these temperature and precipitation level differences can be seen in the dissolved oxygen levels we gathered for each site, further showing the impact water temperature has on water’s capacity to hold dissolved oxygen!


Due to November’s variations in air and water temperatures, dissolved oxygen (DO) levels for the Greenville and Simpsonville teams also showed distinct variations. The sites with warmer air and water temperatures in Greenville that were sampled earlier in the month all had significant decreases in DO levels, which is unusual for the month of November. The site that showed the largest loss of DO quantity was Falls Park which decreased 1.2 mg/L to 5.6 mg/L as compared to October’s result of 6.8 mg/L. ReWa and Swamp Rabbit Café also have lower than usual DO levels for this season. DO levels increased, as expected for this time of year, at all of the Simpsonville sites. The average reading for the two Simpsonville sites in November was 9.95 mg/L, which is quite high (remember, high DO levels are good for wildlife and water quality. Low levels are dangerous). This can be attributed to the seasonably cold air and water temperatures of later November due to the inverse relationship shared by DO and temperature. The colder the water, the higher the water’s capacity for DO!


November’s E. coli bacteria results did not show significant changes at any of the sites, despite the large temperature variations seen at both sets of sites. Some E. coli was present at the Greenville Tech Brashier site which had 0 CFU/100mL in October followed by 167 CFU/100mL in November, but this is well within state standards and not cause for concern. The only other site whose bacteria levels increased was Swamp Rabbit Café, which only increased by 67 CFU/100mL and is also not of concern. All other sites either stayed the same or showed minor decreases.


We have included this month's results along with SC's state standards for comparison below. All results were within state standards.

Data from September 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!






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