Hip waders, fish nets, a motor boat and computers are just some of the tools Storm Water Services uses to monitor the quality of local surface water.
Watch this video
to see water quality monitoring in action.
Hip waders and special gadgets
Environmental specialists tug on the boots, then wade in the water. Creek water samples are captured in small bottles and taken to the laboratory to be tested for pollutants.
|During stream walks, the scientists also look for illicit discharges, dry weather flows, damaged sanitary sewer pipes, overflowing sewer manholes and other sources of water pollution. Any problems are noted on hand-held GPS devices.
The staff notes where creek bank erosion is a serious problem and reports any blockages in the stream such as downed trees. Each year, Storm Water Services staff walk hundreds of miles along local streams taking water samples and looking for possible problems.
Another way of measuring water quality doesn't look at the water, but at what's living in it.
||During "bugging and fishing," employees use nets to catch fish, insects and other creatures living in the stream.
Scientists can tell a lot about how clean the water is by the types and amounts of aquatic life living there. Most species of bugs and fish can't survive if the water is polluted.
Watch a video showing Storm Water Services staff "bugging and fishing."