• Lexie Orr, Water Resources Specialist

Monitoring Efforts in the Watershed: Water Resources Monitoring Project

The Spring Creek Water Resources Monitoring Project (WRMP) is conducted in partnership with the Keystone Water Resources Center, a publicly-funded, non-profit organization dedicated to collecting data on the water resources of Pennsylvania. The mission of the WRMP is to collect scientifically useful water quality and quantity data and make those data available to the public and to educate the public on surface and groundwater resources, with a focus on the Spring Creek Watershed. The WRMP, initiated in 1998 under the auspices of the Spring Creek Watershed Association, was organized by residents interested in the conservation of the watershed. Until 2019, the project was housed and fiscally managed at ClearWater Conservancy. The WRMP maintains a database of stream level, temperature, water quality and groundwater level data, which is annually published in a report and is publicly available upon request.

Figure 1. Map of the Spring Creek watershed identifying locations of monitoring sites.

Stream Level and Discharge

The WRMP maintains 12 stream gaging stations, eleven of which are on tributaries of Spring Creek (Figure 1). The U.S. Geological Survey maintains three gaging stations on the main stem of Spring Creek. Stream height is continuously measured at frequent intervals at all gaging stations (Photo 1). These data are then translated to stream flow and usually reported in cubic feet per second.

Photo 1. Stream level monitoring site on Thompson Run.

Stream Temperature

Water temperature is measured at 30-minute intervals at 18 stream locations and at eight springs.

Groundwater Elevation

Groundwater supply is monitored by continuously measuring water levels in three wells at 3-hour intervals. In addition, water level data are obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors two wells in the watershed.

Water Quality

Water quality is monitored by quarterly sampling at 15 stream locations and eight springs. Project personnel measure dissolved oxygen, water temperature, conductivity and pH at each location when samples are collected. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Analytical Laboratories analyzes water samples for a wide range of chemical constituents, including nutrients and metals.

Publications and Data Availability

Project personnel regularly publish reports that summarize water quality and quantity data. These reports focus on various water resource issues. Reports are available on the project website. Data requests can also be made directly to the project office: lexie@keystonewaterresources.org or through the website.

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