Environmental issues

Water quality

Table 3: Water monitoring programs

Monitoring IndicatorsSampling FrequencyAgencyQA/QC ProgramCategory
Beachwatch
Thermotolerant coliforms, enterococciEvery 6 daysEPA; HWC (audited by EPA); SWC (audited by EPA)Yes Long-term trend monitoring
Harbourwatch
Thermotolerant coliforms, enterococciEvery 6 daysEPAYesLong-term trend monitoring
NSW Surface Water Monitoring
River height, velocity, flow, weather variables, conductivity, water and air temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen (not all measured at all sites)

600 stations 450 telemetered, data from 1700 archived

 
ContinuousDLWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
State of the Storages
Water depth, secchi depth, water and air temperature, dissolved oxygen profile, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, turbidity, carbonate, bicarbonate, fluoride, chloride, nitrate, sulphate, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, algal count and speciation, total iron and manganeseSix weekly or monthlyDLWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
Key Sites
Total phosphorus, conductivity, turbidityMonthlyDLWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
Integrated Monitoring of Environmental Flows (IMEF) - Rehabilitation of Fish Communities
Fish onlyAnnually (Summer)DLWC; NSWFIn developmentResearch and Development
Program Based
IMEF - Algal Bloom Supression and Flushing
Turbidity, chlorophyll-a, nutrients (not specified), algaeWeekly (Spring-Summer), then fortnightly or monthly  (Autumn - Winter)DLWCIn developmentResearch and Development
Program Based
IMEF - Stony Bed Scouring
Algae, macroinvertebrates4-5 times / year (related to flow events)DLWCIn developmentResearch and Development
IMEF - Wetland Replenishment
  1. Physico-chemical, macroinvertbrates
  2. As above plus frog, birds and stock impact

 

  1. One month after inundation; then every 3 months until inundation
  2. 3-4 times per year

 

DLWCIn developmentResearch and Development
Groundwater Monitoring
Water level, physico-chemical (not specified) at some sites (approx. 2000 monitoring bores) (ongoing) salinity (1992-97)Varies from continuous to annualDLWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
Streamwatch
Dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, ortho phosphate, faecal coliforms.VariableSWCYesCommunity Monitoring
Hawkesbury-Nepean Recreational Water Quality Monitoring
Temperature, pH, turbidity, thermotolerant coliforms, enterococci, algaeWeekly over Summer period onlyDLWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
Water Quality Monitoring Environment Protection Licence
Turbidity, suspended solids, flowEvery 6 minutes for turbidity &  height
ss - event based sampling
SFNSWYesProgram Based
Hydrology Research Program
Flow, water level, rainfallWater level and flow continuousSFNSWYesLong-term trend monitoring
Research and Development
Monitoring of Catchment Streams
Turbidity, pH, temperature, conductivity, true colour at 400 nm wavelength, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, dissolved and total organic carbon, suspended solids, filterable and total phosphorus, ammoniacal nitrogen, oxidised nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total nitrogen, E. coli, enterococci, reactive silica, filterable and total aluminium, filterable and total iron, filterable and total manganese, chlorophyll a, thermotolerant coliforms, phaeophytin, enterococci, ultra violet absorbance @ 254 nm wavelength, major ions, Clostridium perfringens, human enteroviruses, alkalinity, Bacteroides fragilis phage HSP40, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, algal counts when chlorophyll-a >5µg/LEvery 4 weeksSCAYesLong-term trend monitoring
Monitoring of Lakes
Turbidity, pH, temperature, conductivity, true colour at 400 nm wavelength, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, dissolved organic carbon, total organic carbon, suspended solids, filterable and total phosphorus, ammoniacal nitrogen, oxidised nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total nitrogen, E. coli, enterococci, reactive silica, filterable and total aluminium, filterable and total iron, filterable and total manganese, chlorophyll a, thermotolerant coliforms, phaeophytin, enterococci, ultra violet absorbance @ 254 nm wavelength, major ions, Clostridium perfringens, human enteroviruses, alkalinity, Cryptosporidium, Giardia ,cyanobacteria (Bio-volume), Cyanobacteria (cells/mL), toxic cyanobacteria (cells/mL), microcystin LR equivalent (µg/L)Every 1 - 4 weeks plus events (varies from site to site and by indicator)SCAYesLong-term trend monitoring
Hydrographic Monitoring Program
Flow, turbidity, pH15 minutesSCAYesLong-term trend monitoring
Performance Assessment Monitoring Program
Thermotolerant coliforms, enterococci, algae (counts), when chlorophyll-a >10µg/L, chlorophyll-a, temperature, photosynthetic light penetration (euphotic zone assessed with a PAR meter), turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, ammonium, oxidised nitrogen, total nitrogen, total filterable phosphorus, freshwater macroinvertebrates, estuarine intertidal biota, flow gauging.Monthly and 3 wet weather events/year

Freshwater macroinvertebrates bi-annually (Spring and Autumn)

Estuarine biota intertidal annually

Settlement panels biannually

Continuous flow gauging 15 minutes

 

SWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
NSW Wave Climate Program
Sea surface elevation and acceleration34 minute continuous record every hour. Data telemetred to shoreDLWCIn accordance with AS/NZS ISO 9001:1994Long-term trend monitoring
NSW Estuaries Baseline Data Collection Program
Estuarine water level via automatic water level recorder15 minutesDLWCYesLong-term trend monitoring
MDBC Water Quality monitoring Program
Varies by site.Physico-chemical (not specified),phytoplankton (not specified),macroinvertebratesWeekly to monthly depending on siteMDBCYes (currently being complied)Long-term trend monitoring
Snowy River Benchmarking and Environmental Flow-Response Monitoring Project
Macroinvertebrates, fish, geomorphology, vegetation, hydrology, temperature, conductivity and pHSite and parameter dependent: Bimonthly, seasonally, continuous, every 3 years or with flood for geomorphologyDLWCOnly some project components have documented QA/QC procedures in place at this stageResearch and Development
Aerial Survey of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia
Waterbirds, wetlandsOctober each yearNPWSYesLong-term trend monitoring
Research and Development
Future Hunter Region Water Sources
Alkalinity, biological oxygen demand, Cl, Colour, conductivity, cyanide, H2S, I, F, NH3, NOx, TKN, pH, total phosphorus, SiO2, TS, SO4, Temperature, Hardness, Turbidity, Sb, Al, As, Ba, Be, B, Cd, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mn, Hg, Mo, Ni, K, Se, Ag, Na, Sn, Zn, thermotolerant and total coliforms,  faecal streptococcus, chlorophyllQuarterlyHWCSampling - No
Analysis - Yes
Long-term trend monitoring
Hunter Region Catchments - Existing Water Sources
Alkalinity, biological oxygen demand, Cl, Colour, conductivity, cyanide, H2S, I, F, NH3, NOx, TKN, pH, TP, SiO2, TS, SO4, Temp, Hardness, Turb, Sb, Al, As, Ba, Be, B, Cd, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mn, Hg, Mo, Ni, K, Se, Ag, Na, Sn, Zn, thermotolerant and total coliforms, faecal streptococcus, chlorophyll, algae and giardia/cryptosporidium (Williams River)Quarterly, monthly, weekly, event (depending on site and parameter)HWCSampling - No
Analysis - Yes
Long-term trend monitoring
Hunter Water Storages
  1. DO, pH, turbidity, temperature, Fe, Mn, chlorophyll, algae, secchi depth, profiles for selected parameters
  2. NH3, NOx, TKN, TP, FRP, SiO2, TOC, SO4, hardness, Ca, Mg, alkalinity, thermotolerant and total coliforms, faecal streptococcus, cryptosporidium/giardia
  3. Pesticides
  4. Radiological

 

  1. Weekly (mostly)
  2. Fortnightly to monthly depending on site and parameter
  3. Quarterly
  4. 5-yearly

 

HWCSampling - No
Analysis - Yes
Long-term trend monitoring
Hunter Region Groundwater Monitoring
  1. Thermotolerant and total coliforms, As, Fe, Mn
  2. Alkalinity, total organic carbon, Colour, F, NH3, NOx, TKN, TP, pH, SiO2, Turbidity, hardness, Ca, Mg
  3. Biological oxygen demand, conductivity, cyanide, H2S, I,  total and suspended solids, SO4, Sb, Al, Ba, Be, B, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Hg, Mo, Ni, K, Se, Ag, Na, Sn, Zn
  4. Pesticide
  5. Radiological

 

  1. Weekly to Quarterly depending on site
  2. Monthly
  3. Quarterly
  4. Quarterly
  5. Biennially

 

HWCSampling - No
Analysis - Yes
Long-term trend monitoring
Inland Wastewater Environmental Program
pH, conductivity, NH3, NOx, TKN, TP, FRP (some sites) thermotolerant coliform, chlorophyllMonthly (mostly)HWCSampling - No
Analysis - Yes
Program Based
Ocean Environmental Monitoring Program
Benthos studies2-5 yearly  (depending on site)HWCSampling - No
Analysis - Yes
Program Based
Sydney Ocean Reference Station
Offshore wind velocity.Ocean wave height, wave period, top and bottom current velocities and sea water temperature profileReal-time Data telemetered to shoreSWCYesLong-term trend monitoring

 

1State significance is defined as programs delivering data for use by more than one agency.

Page last updated: 02 September 2011