Tag Archives: water quality monitoring

Freshwater Mussels Tested as a Warning System

A pilot project on the Mississippi River is testing the possibility of using freshwater mussels as early warning detectors of water quality issues. Mucket mussels, which filter nutrients by taking in water through a slight gap in their shells, are very sensitive to changes in their environment. They will clamp down if they sense certain […]

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New USGS Tool Enables Water Quality Tracking in Rivers and Streams

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently announced the availability of a new online tool that can track nutrients and sediment levels in the nation’s rivers and streams. The online tool covers 106 monitored river and stream sites that are part of the USGS National Water-Quality Network for Rivers and Streams, providing graphical summaries of nutrient […]

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Beach Monitoring Pilot Provides Bacteria Results in Just Hours

This summer the Chicago Park District is piloting a new program to rapidly detect bacterial contamination at five of the city’s beaches. The pilot program will cover Calumet, Rainbow, South Shore, 63rd Street, and Montrose beaches. Through a partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago, the parks department will know whether beaches are safe […]

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Wyoming Data Trespassing Law Discourages Water Quality Monitoring

Wyoming’s new data trespassing law makes it illegal to collect environmental data or to “preserve information in any form” about rural land if it is done on behalf of the government. Drafted by state senator Larry Hicks, the law discourages water quality monitoring by nonprofits and citizen scientists in an effort to prevent negative economic […]

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USGS Releases Reports Characterizing Stormwater Runoff

On May 12, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released 9 years of stormwater quality data for Albuquerque, New Mexico. In partnership with the City of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and the University of New Mexico, USGS sampled nine city outfalls from 2003 to 2012. The […]

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EPA Releases Guidance on Microbial Risk Assessment and Recreational Water Quality Criteria

In mid-January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it published “Microbial Risk Assessment Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Water Media” to aid the development of robust and scientifically defensible risk assessments for waterborne pathogens. EPA’s document describes a human health risk assessment framework for microbial hazards in water media, such as pathogens in treated […]

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Defra Releases Bathing Water Quality Compliance Results

New figures published by the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) on Nov. 6 show that 93% of England’s beaches and inland bathing waters met the minimum European water quality standard, which is based on Escherichia coli limits. However, only about 60% meet the more stringent standards, which are set to […]

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Sea Grant Releases Great Lakes Monitoring Data Website

On Dec. 1, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) announced a new website that displays environmental data from across the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes Monitoring application, created in conjunction with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), makes it easy to view and analyze decades of nutrient, contaminant, and water characteristic data collected by […]

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Sensors Provide Daily Nitrate Data in Mississippi River Basin

Announced in November, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) article published in Environmental Science & Technology describes how advanced optical sensor technology on small streams and large rivers throughout the Mississippi River basin are helping to accurately track nitrate pulses to the Gulf of Mexico. USGS is using the sensors to collect nitrate concentration data every hour. […]

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EPA Updates Beach Guidance, Launches New Beaches Website

On July 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published updated National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants. To receive grants, the 38 states, territories, and tribes eligible under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act must meet the performance criteria established by EPA. According to EPA, the requirements will lead to […]

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