Water & Air assisted the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) in the collection of field data, water quality samples, and biological samples in river basins within the District. In 1989 the District established an ambient surfacewater quality sampling network to assess the water quality status in each of the river basins within District boundaries. The goal of the sampling network was to provide accurate data to determine seasonal variation and long-term trends in water quality, and determine how land use practices impacted water quality and aquatic communities.
- Collection of temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, salinity, and depth measurements using YSI multi-parameter instruments.
- Collection and preservation of filtered and unfiltered water samples.
- Collection of sediment samples for particle size sample analysis.
- Stream discharge measurements using Pygmy and Price-AA flowmeters.
- Collection and analysis of phytoplankton, periphyton, and macroinvertebrate samples.
- Data management and accurate submission of the data to the District.
The project included the monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly collection of surface water samples at 76 sites accessible by boat or by driving to the site. Several new diatom and macroinvertebrate species were described from these collections. Included in this project were detailed studies near the mouths of the Waccasassa, Aucilla, Econfina, and Steinhatchee rivers to assist in the determination of minimum flows and levels for these river systems. This District project was unique in that the primary field personnel and algae and macroinvertebrate taxonomists worked on the project for 18-years first under the direction of another consulting company and then as part of the Water & Air team. This team provided a high level of consistency and quality in sampling and taxonomic analyses that allowed the District to obtain comparable data from year to year.