Watershed Snapshot

 snapshot banner

Each year, on a single day in spring, Federation volunteers spread out across the entire South River watershed and conduct water quality tests to assess the River’s health. Although the data represents just a “snapshot” in time, collecting the data from 40 to 50 sites around the River simultaneously, and doing it at about the same time each year gives a good general barometer of the relative health of our streams and creeks.

2013 Overall Snapshot Results:

The 2013 Snapshot was held on April 13, 2013 from 9-12am. South River Federation Snapshot volunteers collected data from over 30 sites for bacteria and nutrients.  There was a large rain event in the days before the Snapshot.  The stormwater runoff resulted in higher than normal concentrations of phosphate and nitrate at the sampling sites.  Three of the sites failed the EPA limit for bacteria.  Nutrient levels in the river varied considerably by the areas sampled and type of nutrient examined.  For instance, nitrate levels were low coming down from the headwaters area but higher near the mouth of the river.  High nitrate levels are often associated with runoff from septic systems, wastewater treatment plants, or fertilized areas.  Phosphate levels, often associated with fertilizers, detergents, and stream bank erosion, varied across the river.  Below are the results:

enterococci snapshot 2013    phosphate 2013 snapshot

nitrate 2013 snapshot litter

Here are the 2011-2013 Snapshot Stations


Past Snapshot Results:

2009 – Maps [pdf]
2008 – Maps [pdf] – Data [Excel]
2007 – Maps [pdf] – Data [Excel]
2006 – Maps [pdf] – Data [Excel] - Mapped Data
2005 – Data [pdf]