water quality blog

Miami Waterkeeper Adds New Technology to Water Quality Monitoring Program

As part of our continued commitment to water quality monitoring, Miami Waterkeeper has added new YSI EXO sondes to our weekly water sampling program. A sonde is a scientific monitoring instrument that allows us to automatically transmit information about water conditions to our research team! These new tools allow our team to conduct more detailed analysis of the water at our sites and have access to real time data at the time of sampling. This means, we will have more information at our fingertips – allowing us to act faster for the benefit of environmental and human health.

Miami Waterkeeper's Environmental Field Technician, Samantha Morejon, and Water Quality Technician, Sierra Jarriel, performing routine water quality sampling. Sierra, pictured right, is holding our new YSI equipment. (Credit: City of Fort Lauderdale)

 

Immediate detection of water quality issues means early action against environmental crises, such as the 2020 Biscayne Bay fish kill. Miami Waterkeeper worked around the clock with the scientific community to narrow down the causes of the fish kill and mobilized a rapid response to re-oxygenate areas of the Bay as a temporary, marine life-saving measure.

 

Since 2018, the Miami Waterkeeper water quality monitoring program collects samples and analyzes them for the fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) enterococci. This FIB is used by the Florida Department of Health Florida Healthy Beaches program to determine whether the bacteria levels may impact the health of swimmers recreating at beaches. With our new sondes, data on water temperature, salinity, turbidity (cloudiness), dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll a (an indicator of algae) can be collected at the time of sampling. The more data we collect, the more we will be able to tell you about water quality at our weekly sampling locations!

 

This more comprehensive understanding of water quality conditions will also bolster Miami Waterkeeper’s policy recommendations for septic, sewer, and stormwater, as well as fertilizer and waterbody management. The new data will also complement data already collected by federal and local agencies, as well as municipalities, and will assist in our research efforts. Click HERE for more information on how to access this week’s recreational water quality.

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