Temperature: Water temperature affects all aspects of the aquatic ecosystem but is also affected by many climatic factors. Efforts were made to measure the temperature in the middle of the channel using a thermometer placed on the stream bottom . Temperature was recorded in Celsius.
Dissolved Oxygen: oxygen dissolved in water and available for living organisms to use for respiration. Temperature and dissolved oxygen levels are directly linked. Cooler temperatures hold higher levels of dissolved oxygen. Low oxygen levels decrease aquatic diversity. Cold streams should have 7 milligrams per liter (mg/l) of dissolved oxygen. This parameter was measured by using the HACH titration method.
pH: a numerical measure of the hydrogen ion concentration use to indicate the alkalinity or acidity of a substance. Most aquatic life prefers water with a pH between 5 and 9. Mayflies seldom live in waters below 5.5 or above 8.8. pH outside of this range stresses the physiological systems of most organisms and can reduce reproduction. Low pH can also produce conditions that are toxic to aquatic life by allowing toxic elements and compounds to become available to organisms. The pH was measured using a "pocket pal" calibrated, electronic, hand-held meter.
Conductivity: the measure of the ionic strength or concentration in water. Conductivity measures the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Inorganic pollutants (sulfates, metals and fertilizers) increase conductivity. Conductivity is primarily related to the geologic composition of the streambed and the presence of materials that ionize when washed into the water. Conductivity was measured using a "pocket pal" calibrated, electronic, hand-held meter.
Alkalinity: a measure of the capacity of water to neutralize acid. Alkalinity acts as a pH buffer in the treatment process for water. It measures the capacity of water to neutralize acids and keep the pH relatively constant. Alkalinity was measured by using the HACH titration method.
Phosphorous: Although phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants, an increase, even in modest amounts, can create algae blooms, low dissolved oxygen, and accelerate eutrophication. Total phosphorus was sent to a lab for analysis.
Nitrogen: the most completely oxidized state of nitrogen commonly found in water, and is the most readily available state utilized for plant growth. Like phosphorus, nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants. Excessive amounts of nitrogen cause similar problems as excessive amounts of phosphorus. Water used for drinking should not exceed 10mg/l nitrite + nitrate. The natural level of nitrogen in surface water is typically less than 1 mg/l. Concentrations greater than 20 mg/l may pose a health hazard to baby mammals by preventing hemoglobin from transporting oxygen, a problem in humans known as "blue baby" syndrome. Nitrate was measured using the HACH color wheel. Samples were sent to the laboratory for analysis.