River Watchers experience the benefits of nature every week while they monitor the water quality at 27 stream and river sites in the Austin area. Since we have been conducting water quality monitoring for nearly 25 years, we have developed baselines at all sites and we are able to document water quality changes and screen for potential water quality issues. River Watchers deliver their data to LCRA and the City of Austin for public use.
River Watchers learn and follow a sampling protocol at each site to maintain consistency in our long-term monitoring program. They perform tests that determine:
- Air and water temperature
- Amount of oxygen dissolved in the water (Dissolved Oxygen or DO)
- Ability of water to pass an electrical current (Specific Conductance)
- Alkalinity or acidity concentration (pH)
- How far light can penetrate a body of water (Transparency)
- Amount of nitrate nitrogen in the water (Nitrates)
Interested in looking at the water quality of an Austin stream near you? Check out the Water Quality Map.