News From The River

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

FoRR took to the river on February 18 and 23 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 on Mauldin Road upstream of ReWa's headquarters

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

Site #5: Reedy River inCedar Falls Park in Simpsonville

Sites 1 through 3 in the Greenville area were monitored on Saturday, February 18. Sites 4 and 5 in the Simpsonville area were monitored on Thursday, February 23.

Stay tuned for opportunities to volunteer by sampling water quality through macroinvertebrate monitoring soon. We now have a macroinvertebrate monitoring kit available for SC Adopt-a-Stream certified macro volunteers!

The pH results for January were the same as or consistent with last month's findings for all sites, showing only small deviations from December’s results, if any.

The air and water temperatures for the Greenville and Simpsonville sampling events were drastically different, despite the two events taking place only five days apart. The overall average air temperature across all sites and sampling events was 13.2℃, with the water temperatures averaging 12℃, which are only 1℃ and 2.88℃ warmer than last month’s air and water temperature results, respectively. However, the average air temperature for the sites sampled on February 18 in the Greenville area was only 7℃, with an average water temperature of only 9℃. This is drastically colder than the findings in Simpsonville on February 23, which showed an average air temperature of 22.5℃ (just above 72F!), and average water temperature of 16.5℃. These variations in temperature are somewhat typical for this time of year, but the temperatures found in Simpsonville on the February 23 sample date are notably high for February based on past records at nearby sites.

February’s dissolved oxygen (DO) sampling results ranged from 8.6mg/L at the Cedar Falls Park site to 9.5mg/L at the site on Mauldin Road upstream of ReWa’s campus. The average overall DO for February was 8.94mg/L, which is 1.02mg/L lower than last month’s average DO of 9.96mg/L, but still well above the SC state average of 5mg/L. Although the air temperatures at the Simpsonville sites this month were much higher than January’s air temperatures, the water temperatures were only slightly higher, allowing the DO levels to remain relatively stable with only slight seasonal changes despite the warm air temperatures. Remember, colder water has higher capacity for DO, so if air and water temperatures continue to warm without another cold snap, we will likely see DO levels follow suit by decreasing during our upcoming monitoring events.

February's E. coli bacteria results averaged 233.4cfu/100mL across all sites in the Greenville and Simpsonville areas. Most results were well below the threshold of high bacteria (349cfu/100mL) as defined by the SC State Standards with the exception of Falls Park, which reached 433cfu/100mL, and the site on Mauldin Road, which reached 367cfu/100mL. These results are still far lower than the “problematic bacteria levels” threshold of 1,000cfu/100mL and are not cause for much concern, but we do hope to see these levels drop back to below 349cfu/100mL next month. E. coli bacteria thrives in warmer water temperatures, so as water temperatures warm and migratory waterfowl species return to the area later in the spring, we will likely see E. coli levels begin to increase again. Overall, the E. coli levels for February were typical for this time of year and not cause for concern.

This month's results and the SC state standards are included for comparison below. All results were within state standards.

January 2023 Monitoring Results:

  • 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
  • E. coli 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!

Sign up to join the FoRR monitoring team HERE!

Find an SC Adopt-a-Stream event near you to become certified HERE!

The FoRR Monitoring Team uses SC Adopt-a-Stream techniques and has its own monitoring kits, thanks to Ivy Salon and The Greenville Zoo Conservation Fund.

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