The Elk River Alliance has been monitoring the water quality on Alexander Creek for five years. This year's CABIN data is publicly available online here. We are very proud to look back and see all that we have accomplished in the past five years stewarding this creek, especially since this year we completed a large restoration project on an eroded section of stream bank on Alexander Creek.
The Environmental Monitoring Committee (EMC) is an independent body established under Environmental Monitoring Act permit 107517 to review monitoring submissions required under the permit. The EMC prepares a public report annually summarizing monitoring activities reviewed by the committee. Check out the full report for 2016.
Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness of water (it indicates how much light can pass through). When turbidity is low, the water is clear; when turbidity is high, the water is opaque. Through ERA's community-based water monitoring program, turbidity is measured during monthly monitoring at Alexander Creek as well as at high and low flow monitoring on both Alexander and Lizard Creeks.
In the chart above, turbidity is measured in JTUs (Jackson Turbidity Units) and NTUs (Nephelometer Turbidity Units), which both measure how light travels through a water column and are approximately equivalent measurements. As shown above, turbidity measurements range from 0-25 on Lizard Creek (average 5.2) and 0-30 on Alexander Creek (average 5.3). As expected, turbidity increases greatly during high flow and water is usually very clear at low flow. It is interesting to note the turbidity spike at site 1 on Lizard Creek during 2014 flow, as this may correlate with upstream trail work happening below Mt Fernie Provincial Park.
To learn more about turbidity and why it's important, keep reading!Read more
One of the parameters that ERA measures during our community-based water monitoring on Lizard and Alexander Creek, as well as during our monthly monitoring on Alexander is pH. The pH of a substance measures the concentration of hydrogen atoms and describes how alkaline or acidic the substance is. This is measured using a scale from 0-14, with 0 being highly acidic, 14 being highly alkaline and 7 being neutral. Since the pH scale is logarithmic, each number is 10x more alkaline than the previous number (i.e. 8 is 10x more alkaline than 7).
Below is a chart summary of ERA's pH water quality data on Lizard and Alexander Creeks (4 sites on each stream... numbers 1-4 identify site).
As shown in the chart above, the measured pH ranged from 8.3-8.9 for Lizard Creek and 8.4-8.7 for Alexander Creek. Both creeks have an average pH of ~8.6. To learn more about pH, continue reading below...Read more
As part of the Community-based Water Monitoring project, the Elk River Alliance has been monitoring dissolved oxygen (DO) levels at 8 sites in the Elk Valley since 2011 (4 sites on Lizard Creek) and 2012 (4 sites on Alexander Creek). This has included high and low flow monitoring (June/October respectively) at each of the 8 sites and more recently, monthly monitoring on Alexander Creek.
As shown in the chart, the minimum DO levels are 9 mg/L and 8 mg/L for Lizard and Alexander Creeks (respectively); the maximum DO levels are 15 mg/L and 13 mg/L for Lizard and Alexander Creeks (respectively); and, the average DO levels are 11.3 mg/L and 11 mg/L for Lizard and Alexander Creeks (respectively).
For more information on dissolved oxygen and why it is important, keep reading below!Read more
As part of the Elk River Alliance's Community-based Water Monitoring Program, we have been conducting monthly monitoring (April-October) on one site at Alexander Creek. This monthly protocol began in April 2015 and includes a continuous temperature logger, which is left in the water to measure daily minimum and maximum temperatures.
Between April and October, the highest maximum temperature recorded was 13.9C; the lowest minimum temperature recorded was 0.8C; and, the average temperature was 6.7C.
For more information on why water temperature is important for aquatic health, keep reading!Read more
This report outlines the results of the monitoring efforts of the ERA board, staff and Streamkeeper volunteers since the spring of 2011. It is written with the goal of sharing information and supporting the public’s right to know about their water quality. The data is presented in a succinct format in order to be accessible to a broad range of individuals, ranging from interested citizens to civic leaders and biologists.
Click here to view the Community-based Water Quality Monitoring Report released in 2013.
The Elk River Alliance also conducts water monitoring according to Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocols, which are nationally recognized. Click here for more information on CABIN. CABIN reports are available for Lizard Creek (2012, 2013, 2014) as well as Alexander Creek (2012, 2013, 2014) and are available by clicking on the year you wish to view data for.
Presentation, notes and questions answered by Stella Swanson, former Chair of the Elk Valley Strategic Advisory Panel on Selenium Management. She presented information about selenium and facilitated questions and answers.
Click here to view a summary of the Selenium Sunday Dialogue from April 7, 2013.
This is the summary report from Teck Coal submitted to the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, April 2013.
Click here to view report.