Water Quality Monitoring
It is vital that researchers know the condition of the ecosystem that they are working with at both baseline (before the implementation of any projects), and post-construction levels. Water quality data is collected by many people throughout the watershed. The majority of the sampling has been conducted by Ohio University and Vinton County Soil and Water Conservation District Staff, assisted by students, ODNR Division of Mineral Resources employees, and volunteer monitors. These individuals collect water quality data at many sites throughout the watershed. At each site, flow (the amount of water moving through the channel), field data, and water samples are taken. Flow is measured in a variety of ways; by constricting the water through a gauged metal flume, by measuring discharge from a pipe or culvert per unit of time, and by using assorted flow meters. Field data, including pH, conductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, is gathered through data sondes and chemistry kits used at the site. Water samples are carefully taken from the stream and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab measures many chemical parameters of the water including pH, acidity, alkalinity, conductivity, metals, and more. These results are used to track changes in water quality over time.
The following sites provide water quality and flow data, as well as AMD project details. Click on the title of the source for more information.