Chemical monitoring provides additional insight into the quality of water every time a site is visited. Occasionally, it is possible to detect a pollution event in a stream by taking note of pH, conductivity, temperature, and/or dissolved oxygen. After noting an abnormal reading, it is sometimes possible to walk upstream to investigate a potential pollution source.
Physical Chemistry Monitoring Activities
The following physical chemistry data is collected at every stream monitoring site:
- dissolved oxygen (DO) – the amount of oxygen in the water that is available to biological life, including benthic macroinvertebrates and fish
- water temperature
- air temperature
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Data and Data Requests
Montgomery County has tabular raw physical chemistry data from 1994-present for most monitoring sites.
PHYSCHEM Data Table
||The station field is a nine character code that identifies the station name. The stations are a combination of the two letter code for the watershed+the two letter code for the subwatershed+ the single digit stream order code+ the sequential reach number.
||The date the station was sampled.
||3 character code associated with the type of monitoring done at the station.
||Dissolved oxygen in mg/L (from hydrolab).
||The % saturation as a function of dissolved oxygen and water temperature.
||The pH of the stream water.
||The electric conductivity of the water at the sample station.
||The temperature of the air at the beginning of the sample (in degrees Celsius).
||The temperature of the water at the beginning of the sample (in degrees Celsius).
||Additional comments that field staff may feel are appropriate.
Instantaneous physical chemistry data is not a reflection of the long-term water quality of a stream. There may also be instances when the sampling equipment was malfunctioning or not calibrated correctly. Be careful to check comments. Also, most of the individual parameters should not be compared to each other due to differences in the time of year and even time of day samples were taken.
Submitting a Data Request
If you are interested in obtaining data or protocols, please contact DEP at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your request, please provide the following information:
Name, organization (if applicable), phone number, and/or email address
Type of data requested
Time frame requested
Explanation for use of data (helps to personalize the data request)
Preferred method of data retrieval (email, CD by mail, FTP, pick up CD or materials from DEP offices)
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