News From The River

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

FoRR took to the river on March 15 to monitor three of our 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 in Cedar Falls Park in Simpsonville

Sites 1 through 3 in the Greenville area were monitored on Wednesday, March 15. Sites 4 and 5 in the Simpsonville area were not monitored this month.

The pH results for March were consistent with our findings in February, with sites showing only small changes from last month’s results, if any.

The air and water temperatures for the Greenville sites did not differ much from our sampling results in February. The air temperature at our Swamp Rabbit Café site decreased by only 0.5℃ by and the other two sites showed only small, 2-degree increases in air temperature. The water temperature results at all sites were either the same as February’s or only 1℃ cooler, ranging from 8-9℃.

The dissolved oxygen (DO) sampling results from our March outing ranged from 9.5 mg/L at Falls Park to 10.2 mg/L at the Swamp Rabbit Café site. These results demonstrate high dissolved oxygen levels and are reflective of the cold air and water temperatures we experienced in the weeks prior to sampling. Colder water has higher capacity for DO, so colder water typically indicates that we will find higher DO levels, as demonstrated this month. The DO only varied slightly at the Falls Park and Mauldin Road (upstream of ReWa’s campus) sites, with increases of 0.4 mg/L and 0.3 mg/L at each site, respectively. DO increased a good bit at the Swamp Rabbit Café site, with the levels rising an additional 1.4 mg/L to give us this month’s higher than usual result of 10.2 mg/L. If the air and water temperatures begin consistently warming up, we will likely see DO levels decrease during our upcoming monitoring events.

March’s E. coli bacteria results were very low, ranging from only 33 cfu/100mL to 167 cfu/100mL. Most notably, the E. coli counts at Falls Park were 400 cfu/100mL lower than last month, but all sites showed significant reductions. The results are all well below the “high bacteria” threshold of 349 cfu/100mL and are likely a result of the cold, dry weather in the days prior to sampling. Water levels were lower than usual at all our sites. From this, we can infer that the flows were lower and that the sediments in the riverbed were not disturbed or agitated. Because sediment serves as a “reservoir” for E. coli, high flows that disturb the substrate can result in the sequestered E. coli being released into the water, giving us high E. coli counts after sampling. E. coli also does not thrive in colder temperatures, so during months like this where we have low water levels and colder water temperatures, lower E. coli levels are what we typically find.

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

March 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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