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Stream Quality Assessment

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Stream Quality Assessment Biological Monitoring Nitrates Form of Nitrogen (NO3) that is essential to life. High levels of nitrates can be toxic! – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stream Quality Assessment


1
Stream Quality Assessment Biological Monitoring
2
WHY Monitor Stream Quality?
  • To determine if
  • problems exist in our
  • streams and rivers.

3
HOW do we Monitor Stream Quality?
  • Stream quality can be assessed by determining the
    kinds of animals that live within the stream
    (Biotic Assessment)
  • Other indicators may be stream odor, appearance,
    and surroundings (Abiotic Assessment)

4
Biotic Assessment
  • Seines may be used to collect stream inhabitants
  • Group members can help to dig up critters to be
    caught in the seine, by scraping rocks or
    shuffling their feet

5
What kind of critters do we look for?
Macroinvertebrates
  • Macro large enough to be seen with the naked
    eye
  • Invertebrate without a backbone
  • Aquatic macroinvertebrates can be indicators of
    water quality

6
There are 3 groups of Macroinvertebrates
  • Group One Taxa pollution sensitive organisms
    if these critters are present, you have little
    pollution in the water
  • Group Two Taxa moderate pollution-tolerant
    these guys may indicate that the water has some
    pollution, but not a lot of pollution.
  • Group Three Taxa heavy pollution-tolerant
    these critters may indicate very heavy pollution

7
Group One Taxa
  • Pollution sensitive organisms found only in high
    quality water

8
Stonefly Nymph
  • 1/2 - 1 1/2 in length
  • 6 legs with hooked tips
  • Long antennae
  • 2 hair like tails

9
Mayfly Nymph
  • 1/4-1 in length
  • 6 large hooked legs
  • Plate-like gills on sides of body
  • Many long feelers on lower half of body
  • Antennae
  • 2 to 3 long, hair-like tails

10
Water Penny Beetle Larvae
  • 1/4 in length
  • 6 tiny legs on bottom side of body
  • Flat, saucer-shaped body with raised bumps on top
    side of body

11
Gilled Snail
  • Shell opens on the right
  • Opening covered by thin plate called operculum

12
Caddisfly Larvae
  • Up to 1/2 in length
  • 6 hooked legs on upper third of body
  • 2 hooks at back end
  • May be found in rock, stick, or leaf case
  • Typically greenish colored body with dark head

13
Dobsonfly Larvae (Hellgrammite)
  • 3/4 - 4 in length
  • 6 legs
  • Many feelers on lower half of body
  • 4 hooks at back end
  • Fan shaped gill tufts on sides
  • Short antennae

14
Riffle Beetle
  • 1/4 in length
  • Oval body covered with tiny hairs
  • 6 legs
  • Antennae
  • Both larva and adult are commonly found in the
    water

Adult
Larva
15
Group Two Taxa
  • Somewhat pollution tolerant organisms that can
    live in moderate quality water.

16
Crayfish
  • 1/2 - 6 in length
  • 8 legs
  • 2 large claws
  • Resemble small lobsters

17
Dragonfly Nymph
  • 1/2 - 2 in length
  • 6 hooked legs
  • Large eyes
  • Usually buried in mud or found clinging to root
    masses

18
Damselfly Nymph
  • 1/2 - 1 in length
  • 6 thin hooked legs
  • 3 broad oar shaped tails
  • Large eyes

19
Crane Fly Larvae
  • 1/3 - 2 in length
  • Plump caterpillar-like segmented body
  • Finger-like lobes at back end
  • Typically white in color, can be green or brown

20
Clam
  • Clams in Ohio streams come in variety of sizes,
    shapes, and colors according to the species.

21
Group Three Taxa
  • Pollution tolerant organisms that can handle
    poorer water quality.

22
Leech
  • 1/4 - 2 in length
  • Ends with suction pads

23
Aquatic Worm
  • 1/4 - 1 in length
  • Look like earthworms
  • Can be very thin

24
Midge Larvae
  • Up to 1/4 in length
  • 2 legs on each side
  • Worm-like segmented body
  • Rapid squirming movement

25
Black Fly Larvae
  • Up to 1/4 in length
  • One end of body wider
  • Suction pad on larger end
  • Black head

26
Pouch Snail
  • Shell opens on the left
  • No operculum
  • Breathe air

27
HabitatWhere do you find macroinvertebrates?
  • Under rocks
  • Around tree roots
  • Around beds of vegetation
  • Around litter or other debris
  • In riffle zones

28
Streamside Habitat
  • Tree overhang
  • Roots and logs jutting into the stream
  • Rocks and boulders along the stream edge
  • Provide homes and shelter for animals

29
Riffle Zones
  • Areas where water is visibly flowing over rocks
    and stream bottom
  • Look like small rapids
  • The movement over the rocks allows oxygen to
    enter the water

30
Abiotic Assessment
31
pH
  • Indicates whether the stream is basic, acidic, or
    neutral
  • Acidic 0-6.9
  • Neutral 7.0
  • Basic 7.1-14
  • Most macroinvertebrates live best in a slightly
    basic pH (approx. 8)
  • What sorts of things can change the pH of a
    stream to dangerous levels?

32
Alkalinity
  • Indicates the streams ability to neutralize
    acids
  • If a lot of acid is needed to cause the streams
    pH, it can neutralize well. It has high
    alkalinity. (Good)
  • If the pH drops with just a little acid, the
    alkalinity is low. (Bad)

33
Dissolved Oxygen
  • Indicates the amount of oxygen that is dissolved
    in the waternecessary for plants and animals!
  • How does the water replenish its oxygen?

34
Nitrates
  • Form of Nitrogen (NO3) that is essential to life.
  • High levels of nitrates can be toxic!
  • Try not cleaning your fish tank for a year
  • Why? Nitrogen combines with Oxygen to form
    nitrate (NO3). Too much Nitrogen removes too
    much oxygen and causes the fishies to suffocate.
  • Healthy Levels 1 mg/L
  • Toxic Levels 10 mg/L
  • Water treatment plant 30 mg/L

35
Phosphates
  • Essential for life
  • Phosphorus can be dissolved or suspended
  • Similar to Nitrates
  • High levels toxic
  • Low levels toxic
  • Moderate levels - healthy

36
Stream Flow
  • Choose a section of the creek.
  • Use a tape measure to find the width and depth of
    a 100 foot area.
  • Float a rubber ducky from one end to the other
    and time its flow.

100 ft. area
Speed of Ducky 100 ft. / _____sec. _______
ft./sec. Avg. Width x Avg. Depth x ______
ft./sec. _________ ft.3/sec. Stream Flow
37
Turbidity
  • Clearness or cloudiness of water.
  • The deeper you can see (clearer), the healthier
    the stream.
  • Equipment Turbidity Tube

38
Other Stream Quality Indicators
  • Water appearance
  • Water odor
  • Stream bank shape
  • Stream bottom cover
  • Streamside vegetation
  • Land uses within the watershed
  • Pipes entering the stream
  • This is called the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation
    Index (QHEI)

39
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40
Riparian Corridor
  • Streamside forests
  • Protects streambanks from erosion
  • Protects water quality by filtering out
    pollutants
  • Provides wildlife habitat

41
Stream Bank Without Vegetation
42
Point Source Discharges
  • Discharge entering a stream or river from a pipe
    or tile, i.e.
  • Agricultural field tile
  • Storm drains
  • Factory outputs
  • Water treatment plant outlets

43
Need More Information ?
  • Check with Ohio EPA for more specific information
    and expertise on setting up a water quality
    monitoring program, especially for chemical
    monitoring
  • Both ODNR and Ohio EPA can assist with Quality
    Habitat Environmental Index (QHEI)

44
Happy Critter Hunting!
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