Citizen Monitoring Program

2016 WATER QUALITY SUMMARIES AND REPORTS

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August

The UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2016 are back. Here are two sets covering the month of August. Reports for July and the end of June will be archived on our web site in the near future. Sorry for the lack of continuity this summer.

  • In general, August was warmer than average and rainfall was about average.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen conditions (< 4 ppm) were widespread and frequent. Severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were common in canals and upper tributaries, particularly in late August.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were minor.
  • Total Enterococcus bacteria levels were elevated in some upper tributaries and canals, particularly in late August when samples may have been influenced by rain events 1-2 days earlier.
  • In fresh water ponds, blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae increased during the month, particularly at Red Mill Pond. In the estuaries, harmful algae blooms of non-toxic species were common, but blooms of potentially toxic species at levels of concern were limited to isolated blooms of Chloromorum toxicum. At the inlets and on the ocean beaches, levels of Karenia papilionaceae were patchy, but became moderately high at the end of the month.

The reports are listed below and updated maps of DO readings taken from shoreline sites can be found at http://citizen-monitoring.udel.edu/maps.shtml

June

Here is the second set of UD Citizen Monitoring Reports for 2016 covering the last two weeks (5/31 to 6/16).

  • Until the last day or two, the weather was generally cool and dry.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen conditions (< 4 ppm) were a bit more widespread. Severely low readings persisted in some dead-end canals and began to appear in upper tributaries. The timing is typical for June.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were generally minor, except for some major accumulations that persisted in some dead-end canals.
  • Total Enterococcus bacteria levels were elevated in a few upper tributaries and streams and might have been associated with moderate rain events within the previous 24 hours.
  • Harmful Algae Blooms remained limited to canal systems. Levels of potentially toxic Dinophysis began to drop in Torquay. Moderate blooms of non-toxic flagellates were seen in Torquay and South Bethany. The transition from spring to summer flora was evident.

Updated maps of DO readings taken from shoreline sites can be found here http://citizen-monitoring.udel.edu/maps.shtml

Also, the 2016 Delaware Sea Grant Annual Report has just been released. https://www.deseagrant.org/2016-annual-report-volume-35

April and May

This is the first set of UD Citizen Monitoring Reports for 2016 covering April and May. Subsequent reports will be issued every few weeks in summer.

  • Temperatures in April and May were below normal. Rainfall in May was above normal.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (<4 ppm) began to be detected in some residential canals and upper tributaries in May. Severely low readings (<2 ppm) were restricted to a few canal systems. Note that this report only lists DO readings less than 5 ppm.
  • Minor accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were widespread. Major accumulations were observed in some of the South Bethany canals. Decay of these accumulations probably contributed to the severely low DO readings there.
  • Total Enterococcus bacteria levels were elevated at a few of sites in late May. Heavy rainfall had occurred a few days before sampling.
  • Blooms of Harmful Algae were generally limited to non-toxic species, and potentially toxic species were below levels of concern. The levels of Dinophysisacuminata in Torquay canal would be of concern if this area was approved for shellfish harvesting.

Click here to see maps of dissolved oxygen readings taken from shoreline sites for the first 4 weeks of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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