Water is the most abundant compound on earth, yet faces some of the most significant threats of any natural resource. Implementing advanced monitoring, assessment, and management technologies is essential to preserving and restoring our valuable water resources.
Water quality is a measure of the characteristics and condition of water. Water quality standards, established locally and federally, protect such beneficial uses of water such as sustaining fish and other aquatic life, swimming and providing drinking wate for people, livestock, and wildlife. Water quality parameters vary seasonally and are influenced by numerous internal and external factors. For example, a trend of increasing phosphorous levels over time can document a growing human health and ecological concern with a shift to less desirable and potentially toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) species. Elevated levels of water quality parameters may also exceed established threshold levels for impaired waterbodies and may result in violations of federal, state, and/or local ordinances.
Why monitor? Routine assessment of key water quality parameters provides valuable information about the health of a water body. Analysis and documentation of water quality parameters provide data necessary to prompt and assess management activities, establish and achieve ecological benchmarks, and comply with regulatory thresholds.