Surface Water Quality


Monitoring surface water quality is one of the best ways to protect streams and lakes. It helps identify problems, determ​ine whether streams and lakes are improving or declining over time, and most importantly it helps protect quality of life and public health.

Each year, a wide range of surface ​water quality monitoring data is collected from streams and lakes throughout the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

  • Almost 15,000 water samples are collected per year and over 20 different parameters are routinely screened
  • Automated samplers at 35 locations measure five parameters per hour, 24 hours a day. This equals approximately 1.5 million measurements a year
  • Fish communities are assessed at five locations
  • Macroinvertebrate communities are assessed at 34 locations

​To learn about techniques used to monitor local streams and lakes, please see the following videos:

​This webpage is organized into four interest areas related to Surface ​Water Quality Monitoring. Please view any of the following links for more information about these topics.

There are several technical terms used on the monitoring pages above. Please see our Glossary of Monitoring Terms for help understanding some of the most common ones used.

Additional Monitoring Programs

Mon​itoring of stormwater outfalls, industrial and municipal facilities, septic systems, and Stormwater Control Measures is also conducted to improve stormwater quality and help keep our streams and lakes healthy. Information about these programs can be found as part of the Illicit Dischar​ge Detection and Elimination Program and Pilot Stormwater Control Measures Program​. 


Olivia Edwa​rds

Environmental Supervisor

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