WATER QUALITY DATA
Since 2014, the MWC has partnered with Algonquin College’s Office of Applied Research and the Environmental Technician Program to collect monthly water quality and quantity samples at 24 sites from May-November within the Watershed. The 24 sites were selected by a group of local and regional professionals and scientists, as well as some farmers and community members with knowledge of the Watershed.
After water is collected (sampled), the samples are shipped to the Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (OMECP) to be analyzed at their accredited lab. To date, the MECP has contributed approximately $100,000 of in-kind lab analysis for the Watershed.
Discontinued Sampling Sites
Due to cuts in government funding in 2019, the OMECP requested a reduction in the number of sampling sites and parameters tested in the lab. Sample sites were reduced from 24 to 17, with the exception of one new site, CB-01, Cobden Beach at Muskrat Lake. Sample sites were removed based on accessibility, historical data, and critical habitat. For example, certain sites have become too dangerous to access because of severe stream bank erosion. Healthier sites with historically low nitrogen and phosphorous levels were also removed.
In other cases, certain sites were postponed only for the 2019 sampling season. An example of this is the “Deep Site” on Muskrat Lake where the equipment used to obtain water quality data required servicing.
The reason for adding Cobden Beach as a sample site is to test whether the aeration system installed at the beach is working effectively. The remaining 17 sites will continue to provide sufficient data to inform on the conditions of the watershed and help determine future areas of focus for remediation projects.
What does this information do for the Watershed?
Data on the overall water quality of the Watershed can help to inform us about where we should focus our efforts for remediation and/or best management practices implementation. In collecting data on water quality, we are gathering important information about the current conditions of the Watershed. Year-to-year information allows us to develop a kind of inventory, or “story”, of what’s happening at a biophysical level within the Watershed. This helps us to understand the potential impacts on our community and work together to collaborate on ways to see a lasting positive change in our Watershed and our community.
OUR SAMPLING SITES
Use the maps below to get an up close and personal look at our sampling sites. Each site is marked with an icon. The colour of each icon matches the zone of influence also highlighted on the map. Zones of influence indicate what water sources are flowing into a sampling site and how that could effect the results we receive from the lab. We have also divided the sampling sites by the day in which they are sampled as well as the sites that were cancelled in 2019.