The Salem County Greenkeepers Plan

Salem River Water Quality Monitoring Project - Phase I

Year 2001
Project
Background
 
The Salem
River
Watershed
Why is this
watershed
important?
Sources of
Pollution
 
Water Quality
Monitoring
Project-Phase I

Fall 2001. A series of meetings were held between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Salem County and the Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, Rutgers University.  A research/GIS plan was initiated for year 1 of this project.  Initial outreach to stakeholders was accomplished through the development of fact sheets that described the problems facing the Salem River watershed. 

Winter 2001.  All relevant GIS coverages for watershed area #17 were obtained including NJDEP watershed boundaries, hydrology, ambient biomonitoring network data, NRCS soils data, septic/sewers data, and digital ortho-photography of the Salem River/Delaware Estuary Watershed area.  In addition, preserved farmland coverage of Salem County was received from the NJ state agricultural development commission and updated via personal communication with the Salem County Planning Office.   An initial reach of the Salem River labeled as severely impaired was selected as a starting point for water quality monitoring. 28 sites along the river were selected for water quality testing.

For 6 weeks during the summer of 2001, nitrogen, phosphorus, pH, temperature, and conductivity were measured at each of the 28 sampling points (shown as black dots) below.

Initial results indicate that all sites (except for one) along the Salem River are well below safe drinking water standards (10 ppm) for nitrogen.  Areas of high phosphorus and conductivity were detected probably due to agricultural operations and stormwater run-off.  Over the course of the winter, we will be working with other government agencies and growers in the region to educate them about these findings and to develop best management practice strategies for the future.

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