We cannot measure the improvements in our watersheds without monitoring our progress. In conjunction with NIU faculty and students, and teachers and students at local high schools, monthly monitoring has taken place at 9 sites in the East Branch Watershed and 9 sites in the Upper Middle Kishwaukee Watershed. By sampling year round we are able to identify the cycles generated by changing weather and land use.
What’s in the water? There are several elements, nutrients and pollutants, that make their way from the land into the water. Some of these elements can be beneficial, but most often they impair the wildlife in the streams and ultimately impact us. Stream quality is determined by the number and diversity of the wildlife found in and around it. Impairments are determined by the number and concentration of the elements found in the stream.
Just as a blood test identifies issues in humans, these monthly analyses identify issues in the stream. The following chart lists the elements/compounds used as indicators. And, just as there are acceptable ranges for each component of our blood panel, acceptable ranges are used in water quality analysis. They are also included in the chart.
Use this table to identify in which watershed the sites lie. Please refer to the table below for information about acceptable water quality standards.
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