Stream Monitoring


Water quality sample taken from the South Fork of Gunpowder Creek, Boone County

In-stream Water Quality Sampling

Water quality data collected from streams can provide a comprehensive “snap-shot” in time of the watershed which aids in the identification of potential sources of impairments. Parameters that are measured include: temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, turbidity, bacteria (fecal coliform, E. coli), total suspended solids, carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, nutrients and metals.

Biological Monitoring

The biological communities present within the stream can be representative of watershed health. By assessing the presence or absence and abundance of particular groups or species, it is possible to determine the presence and extent of certain stressors or pollutants, such as, erosion, sedimentation or toxic substances. There are many methods utilized to assess the biological condition of streams, SD1 focuses on the quality of available habitat and the macroinvertebrate (i.e. aquatic insects) and fish communities.



The hydromodification component of the SD1 monitoring program focuses on measuring the physical stream channel responses that are primarily attributable to land-use conversion from undeveloped to developed. The altered flow regime associated with conventional urban development (i.e. hydromodification) leads to flashier streams, larger flow, excessive stream erosion and overall channel instability. Accelerated bank erosion, channel widening and overall enlargement pose risks to adjacent public infrastructure (i.e. sewers, roads and bridges), as well as private property losses. These same actions also cause water quality impairments (i.e. high Total Suspended Solids and sedimentation/siltation) and have adverse effects on aquatic biota, such as fish and macroinvertebrate populations.  

USGS/SD1 Continuous Monitoring Network

Through a Cooperative Agreement with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), SD1 funds 13 continuous monitoring stations that measure stage, precipitation, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, conductivity, and turbidity at fifteen minute increments in watersheds throughout the Northern Kentucky area. Click here, to download a copy of the continuous monitoring network fact sheet.

To access the real-time, live data, click here
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