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Water Quality Monitoring

Water quality monitoring is a vital part of the watershed planning effort, providing information to better understand where pollutants originate and to determine priorities for project implementation. WREC and Purdue University are partnering on our professional water quality monitoring program. Through this effort, we collect water chemistry samples, annual fish and bug samples, and assess habitat. We maintain a twice annual (Spring and Fall) Chemistry Wabash Sampling Blitz, and Quarterly Volunteer Monitoring.

Water Chemistry Sampling

Data collected through the current water quality monitoring program is focused on demonstrating a change in water quality. Baseline data were collected from March 2009 through November 2012. Installation water quality monitoring began in May 2013 and will continue as long as funding is available.

When the monitoring committee met in the fall of 2008, they chose to focus their efforts on both the rural and urban portions of the watershed and selected two representative subwatersheds to the Wabash River. The urban subwatershed is represented by Elliott Ditch, while Little Wea Creek represents the rural portion of the watershed. A third site on Little Pine Creek serves as the control by providing an idea of climatic and regional changes in water quality which are independent of the implementation of water quality improvement projects.

Stream flow gages were installed at each of these three sites in April 2009. By clicking each of the sample sites on the map below, current water chemistry, flow rate and water level at each site can be observed. These gages record water levels every 15 minutes, while water quality samples are collected weekly over a two year period.

View Monitoring Locations in a Larger Map

Biological Community Assessment and Habitat Monitoring

A second phase of the current water quality program focuses on the assessment of the biological communities and habitat present within ten of the streams within the Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River watershed. Fish, bugs (macroinvertebrates), and habitat are assessed at each site.

Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring

Volunteer monitors are also sampling the water quality of the watershed streams. Volunteers collect information which supplements that collected through the formal water monitoring program. These data are collected quarterly. 

Additionally, an effort to sample water quality at many multiple (210) stream crossings within the watershed occurs each spring and fall. Visit Wabash Sampling Blitz to review results and to learn how to volunteer for future Blitz events.