Conducting the rest of the measurements is much easier with at least 2 people. It is very easy to measure stream width by stretching a tape measure from bank to bank across a relatively level section of stream. Depth can be easily measured by using a meter stick to measure the depth at various points along a cross-section of the stream. A cross-section of the stream can be drawn using the width and depth of the stream. This could be a useful tool to map water levels at various points in time to determine if the stream is at normal level, running dry, or higher than usual. It is a wise idea to avoid entering streams that are higher than normal as currents may be strong.
Stream velocity and discharge are relatively easy to determine. To monitor stream velocity (or flow rate), use either a flow-rate meter ( an expensive piece of equipment) or measure it yourself. Before measuring the velocity, mark out a length of approximately 10 meters on a relatively straight portion of the stream. Simply drop a bobber or other easily visible, floating object into the stream to the 0 meter mark. Start timing on a stopwatch and stop when the object reaches the 10 meter mark. To calculate to velocity divide the distance traveled (10 meters) by the time in seconds.
Finding the discharge of a stream is simply a calculation.
Discharge (m3/s) = Stream width (m) x Average Depth (m) x Velocity (m/s) x Constant
The constant is not necessary, however try to include it whenever possible. Multiply by 0.8 for gravel or rocky bottom streams or 0.9 for sandy or muddy bottom streams.
See St. Vincent College Environmental Education Center module on Flow.
The USGS has set up many gaging stations throughout the state to record the height of the water level of many creeks and rivers. Your waterway may already be in the monitoring group, click here to find out.
Other important AMD tests
|Temperature||Acidity||Dissolved Oxygen (DO)||pH||Aluminum|
|Flow||Alkalinity||Total Dissolved Solids (Conductivity)||Iron||Manganese|