How does ENERWA perform water quality sampling?
What do we measure and why is it important?
Air and water temperatures
Total nitrogen (TN)
Total phosphorus (TP)
Dissolved oxygen (DO)
Water clarity (turbidity)
Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and sediment are the three pollutants addressed by the Bay’s “pollution diet” overseen by the EPA. In our measurements, TN, TP, and turbidity are the parameters that directly relate to these pollutants. Conductivity is a measure of ion concentration in the water (which can stress organisms), and DO indicates how well a waterway can support aquatic animals — fish, invertebrates, etc.
What sites are now being monitored?
North East River Watershed
How is the grade calculated?
The tables on the left show the complete scorecard, according to the MTAC protocols, for our 2019 measurements. As can be seen, the tidal sites scored somewhat better than the upstream sites, although their water clarity was poor. Dissolved oxygen (DO) is not scored for the upstream sites (although it is used as a check) because DO is generally good in flowing streams. Conductivity is not scored for tidal sites because it is very sensitive to changes in salinity. In fact, during the late summer and fall of last year, when the upper Bay salinity increased due to lack of rainfall, our conductivity measures for the tidal sites reached record high levels.