Introduction to Water Quality Collection and analyzation, Northwest Florida NaGISA
Why is it important to collect hydrologic data on a water body? The health of a water body, or its water quality, is determined by measurements of its chemical, biological, and physical conditions. The chemical parameters include pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, and dissolved solids. A biological assessment is conducted by measuring the abundance and diversity of aquatic plants and animals. Physical characteristics that affect the quality of the water body is clarity, temperature, discharge (flow rate), and the condition of the stream banks.
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites these five major reasons for monitoring a river: 1. to characterize waters and identify changes or trends in water quality over time; 2. to identify specific existing or emerging water quality problems; 3. to gather information to design specific pollution prevention or remediation programs; 4. to determine whether program goals—such as compliance with pollution regulations or implementation of effective pollution control actions—are being met; and 5. to respond to emergencies, such as spills and floods.”