Wetland, Stream Bank, and Shoreline Restoration
In-stream Monitoring Water Quality at Construction Projects with Telemetry
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) requires all project discharges meet the state water quality standards. Projects with a high potential for polluting the rivers and streams sometimes receive a project specific Water Quality Certification. Specific Water Quality Certifications often include specific instructions for monitoring at projects. These typically include monitoring for pH and turbidity. Monitoring requirements may include monitoring up-stream, in the work area, and downstream. They may also include specific instructions for where to monitor in the river. In addition, working in the water or over the water often creates a high level of risk for potential violations, and monitoring more frequently can help to quantify and reduce those risks. Monitoring on regular intervals with hand-held portable equipment typically has a high labor and relatively low equipment cost. The cost of using electronic equipment placed in the river is typically considerably higher than using hand-held equipment; however, the labor costs can be significantly reduced. This workshop shows that, if done effectively, remote electronic monitoring can save costs and provide more constant data for a project.
After installing and maintaining remote and un-manned monitoring stations in several projects in southwest Idaho, this workshop shares our knowledge related to the installation, maintenance, and performance of monitoring systems. The systems will be discussed in two categories. First is the basics of the electronics. Discussion of the electronics includes the monitoring probes, power, communications, and software we have used. In this category, we discuss the data recording, sharing, and reporting. We discuss some of the obstacles experienced with this system including radio transmitting data to a computer at the job site and transmitting the data to the internet. The second category of the equipment we discuss is the mechanical equipment, including boats, flotation devices, buoys, anchors, and all the pieces and parts that keep the monitoring equipment out in the water. We discuss the lessons learned about working in moving and living waterways and some pitfalls that can be avoided and challenges to overcome.
Short case studies where these types of monitoring systems have been deployed are included. These case studies focus on what the project permitted and special provisions required and what was done to meet the project requirements. The successes and failures of the projects and information about how to assess a new project are shared. Our ultimate aim is to increase the knowledge of those who attend this workshop so they can use our experiences to help increase the effectiveness of their water quality monitoring practices.