What is water quality monitoring?
Did you ever stop to wonder how we get our information on the condition of our NationĀ“s streams, lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters? On whether these waters are safe enough to swim in, fish from, or use for drinking? Monitoring provides this basic information.
There are many ways to monitor water conditions. Monitoring specialists sample the chemical condition of water, sediments, and fish tissue to determine levels of key constituents such as dissolved oxygen, nutrients, metals, oils, and pesticides. They also monitor physical conditions such as temperature, flow, sediments, and the erosion potential of stream banks and lake shores.Biological measurements of the abundance and variety of aquatic plant and animal life and the ability of test organisms to survive in sample water are also widely used to monitor water conditions.