Surface Water Quality

​Monitor​ing Techniques​

​​Staff performs six different types of monitoring in local streams and lakes. Information about what is monitored, how it's done, and where it occurs is organized as follows. Please scroll down for more infor​mation about these topics.​

  • Fixed Interval Monitoring
  • In-Stream Stormwater Monitoring
  • Lake Monitoring
  • Biological Monitoring
  • Stream surveys
  • Continuous Monitoring and Alert Notification Network

Fixed Interval Monitoring

  • Temperature
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Enterococcus Bacteria
  • Ammonia Nitrogen
  • USGS Suspended Sediment Test (SSC)
  • Zinc (dissolved)
  • Arsenic
  • Nickel
  • Silver
  • Chromium
  • Beryllium
  • Conductivity
  • Fe cal Coliform Bacteria
  • pH
  • E-coli Bacteria
  • Nitrite and Nitrate
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
  • Total Phosphorous
  • Suspended Solids (TSS)
  • Suspended Solids
  • Turbidity
  • Hardness
  • Copper (dissolved)
  • Lead (dissolved)
  • Cadmium

In-Stream Stormwater Monitoring

  • Temperature
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Enterococcus Bacteria
  • Ammonia Nitrogen
  • Turbidity
  • Chromium
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • USGS Suspended Sediment Test (SSC)

  • Conductivity
  • Fecal Coliform Bacteria
  • pH
  • E-coli Bacteria
  • Nitrite and Nitrate
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
  • Total Phosphorous
  • Suspended Solids (TSS)
  • Copper

Lake Monitoring

  • Secchi Disk depth
  • Conductivity
  • Alkalinity
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
  • Nitrate + Nitrite

  • Temperature
  • ​​Dissolved Oxygen
  • pH
  • Fecal Coliform Bacteria
  • Ammonia Nitrogen​

Biological Monitoring

Stream Walks

For Stream Walks, approximately 20% of all streams in watersheds over 50 acres throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are walked by staff in an effort to find illicit discharges and document watershed conditions. This equals an average of approximately 270 miles per year.  This allows staff to walk all these streams every five years. During these walks, the following activities are performed:

  • Documentation of the location, condition, and flow of all outfalls (aka pipes) that are over 12 inches in diameter.
  • Testing of water flowing from an outfall during dry weather. (Stormwater outfalls should typically not have flow during dry weather) 
  • Testing surface water quality at stream junctions and documentation of watershed conditions.

Continuous Monitoring and Alert Notification Network