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PRWC Expands Water Quality Assessments in 2019 Field Season

Image: ProV2 HOBO temperature logger

The Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition has an extensive knowledge base and strong track record of successfully implementing water quality monitoring programs focused on Macroinvertebrate Surveys and Stream Temperature Monitoring. In its 2019 field season, PRWC will expand current monitoring of the river to include bacteria sampling, specific conductance and turbidity. We are requesting your support for the purchase of equipment essential to the success of this monitoring program. Acquisition of a turbidity meter, conductivity meter and 4G LTE tablet, coupled with our on-going volunteer program and the USGS streamflow record, will enable PRWC to increase the sustainability of our monitoring and river mapping efforts.

The need for expanded assessments was identified and detailed in the recently adopted Watershed Based Plan (September 2018). Short-term Management Recommendations in the Plan include bacteria, turbidity and specific conductance monitoring, streamwalk assessments, and track down surveys. These assessments will help to establish an improved baseline of water quality conditions, further characterize pollutant sources and problem areas, and further bracket priority areas for non-point source pollution, and stormwater run-off reduction projects. The need for long term monitoring of water quality parameters, including temperature, specific conductance, and turbidity in the Pomperaug River stream network is essential for understanding water quality trends that might be occurring as the result of changes in precipitation, land and water use, and stormwater/wastewater returns (via outfalls or septic systems). These parameters, especially when combined with bacterial monitoring at many locations within the river network enable the mapping and identification of critical reaches of river that may be impacted by degraded water quality due to non-point source or point source pollution.

The cost of bacteria sample analysis at a state-certified water testing laboratory and the purchase of some needed stream monitoring equipment is funded in part by grants from the Argall Hull Fund of the First Church of Bethlehem and from the Connecticut Society for Women Environmental Professionals Grant Program.

To view current stream temperature data visit PRWC’s thermal monitoring interactive map, click on the monitoring site of interest and then the site photo or the More Info hyperlink under Site Data.

Image: Volunteers Janel and Carol getting ready to deploy the temperature data logger in May 2018
Image: Intern Mike taking a quality control temperature reading at the Rt 47 bridge crossing

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