Stream and River Monitoring

Stream gages are a common method of monitoring streams and rivers. There are thousands of stream gages across the country managed largely by organizations such as the USGS. Researchers and educators utilize stream gage data to better understand the physical and chemical properties of a watershed.

NexSens stream and river monitoring systems typically include a pressure transducer for measuring stream stage, a water quality sonde with selected sensors and a data logger, mounted streamside or on a platform. The data logger pushes data to the web datacenter WQDataLIVE for a real-time look at stream and river conditions.

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Case Studies

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Lake Erie Tributary Monitoring

The western basin of Lake Erie gets a lot of attention thanks to its role in large algal blooms, but it is not the only part of the lake affected by nutrient runoff. And there are organizations all around Lake Erie that work to manage runoff going into different basins of the lake. One of those is the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, which maintains multiple water quality monitoring stations along creeks and rivers that flow into Lake Erie’s waters near Cleveland. These waters cover mostly the lake’s central basin.

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Wetland and Urban Stream Monitoring

Heavy urban development has caused excess stormwater runoff in the Cleveland area. As a result, the city’s metroparks can experience flash floods, which damage aquatic habitat, erode river banks, and carry sediment into Lake Erie. This increased stormwater runoff has had a number of undesirable effects on the parks system and overall watershed health. Under normal circumstances, headwaters moderate flow from heavy rains, process nutrients, and reduce sediment. They also provide habitat for unique native flora and fauna in the water and in surrounding riparian habitats. With heavier runoff, however, they are subject to channelization, culverting, and pollution.

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Susquehanna River Monitoring

The Susquehanna River is the longest river on the American east coast. It flows from upstate New York and western Pennsylvania for over 440 miles before entering the Chesapeake Bay. It is considered one of the oldest river systems in the world. The Susquehanna has been subjected to various forms of pollution, including agricultural runoff, urban stormwater runoff, and raw sewage. The U.S. government has pushed for the cleanup of the river and proper monitoring of water quality.

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