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Guide to water quality monitoring

Warrumbungle National Park

In February 2013 a severe bushfire devastated much of the Warrumbungle National Park. This was followed soon after by an intense thunderstorm that washed large quantities of sediment, organic matter and nutrients from the hill slopes into the streams that drain the park. Scientists from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) are tracking the progress of sediment and nutrient movement through the stream system. Nutrient concentrations can reach very high levels following bushfires, altering the character of the stream ecosystem by promoting excessive plant and algal growth and growth of biofilms on stones, wood and sediments. In addition to this, the sediment is being moved down the streams as massive slugs of sand, smothering aquatic habitats and filling pools. This is particularly obvious in Wambelong Creek which traverses the valley floor through the heart of the national park.

Your measurements of water quality will contribute valuable information to complement the scientists’ studies on the recovery of these streams following the bushfire. In addition, we have set up the water quality component so that you can compare different methods of measuring water quality and you will help us understand what the best methods to sample water quality are.

The scope of the student studies will be to focus on the recovery of a section of the Wambelong Creek along the valley floor in the vicinity of the Warrumbungle Environmental Education Centre (WEEC).

This sampling manual instructs students how to measure water quality.

The format and structure of this publication may have been adapted for web delivery.

Page last updated: 19 March 2015