Monitoring Montgomery County’s Streams

September 18, 2020
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Did you know that September 18th is World Water Monitoring Day?

Biologists at a site (Summer 2019)

Since 1995 Montgomery County has maintained a stream monitoring program. As a result, the program has tracked water quality and stream condition changes throughout the County.

Monitoring Countywide

Monitoring fulfills requirements under state and local regulations and occurs on a yearly basis.  DEP monitoring includes collection of:

  • benthic macroinvertebrates (stream bugs)
  • fish
  • stream habitat and
  • physical/chemical parameters of water quality

Data collected is crucial for targeting stormwater management, stream restoration, and guiding the County on long term changes in our environment (including climate change, development, restoration success).  In addition, the data is essential to a highly innovative mapping approach.  Mapping helps DEP identifying distressed watersheds to help with guiding the County in stormwater management and stream restoration.

Adam Oritiz, DEP Director giving the thumbs up while out at a stream with our team of biologists (Summer 2020)

How Often?

Each year over 100 sites per region are monitored. Monitoring occurs throughout the County on a 5-year rotation. Below you can see the last 5-years monitoring rotation schedule by area.

As a result of yearly monitoring, data is generated that helps us understand the overall health of Montgomery County’s Streams.  Visit our website to find out your local watershed health.

Summary of 2019 Monitoring

In 2019 our team spent over 200 days in the field collecting more than 220 distinct samples including:

  • 112 sites sampled
  • 2,420 square feet of benthic habitat sampled
  • Over 40,000 fish collected, comprised of 47 species
  • Nearly 20,000 benthic macroinvertebrates subsampled (stream bugs) across 225 Taxa

The fish and benthic macroinvertebrates collected provide us information on water quality and watershed health.  These data are then combined into an index used to monitor trends.

Don’t forget to visit our website to find out your local watershed health.

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