Water Monitoring Programs
Surface Water Monitoring
The Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network (PWQMN) is a partnership between Conservation Authorities and the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to measure surface water quality in over 400 locations in rivers and streams across Ontario. The main objective of the PWQMN is to protect human health and aquatic ecosystem by providing reliable and current information on stream water quality. The KCCA has participated in the program since 2006.
KCCA collects water quality samples from March to November from four sites in streams across the watershed. Samples are delivered to laboratories where they are analyzed for several water quality parameters including major ions (e.g., chloride) and nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), metals (e.g., mercury and lead), suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, alkalinity, temperature and turbidity. KCCA has expanded the surface water monitoring network to six additional sites that target areas of interest within the watershed, for a total of 10 long-term surface water monitoring stations.
For information on PWQMN site locations in Ontario and to download chemistry results visit the Ontario website.
Ground Water Monitoring
In partnership with the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network (PGMN) administered by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), KCCA operates and maintains a network of seven groundwater monitoring wells located throughout the watershed. These wells measure ambient water levels and water quality from the major aquifers (groundwater-bearing areas) within the KCCA watershed. Monitoring wells are instrumented with data logging equipment that record hourly groundwater levels. Water level data is downloaded twice a year and is corrected for barometric pressure.
As part of the provincial network, KCCA also collects water samples in the spring and fall that are analyzed for nutrients, general chemistry, metals and bacteria which supply additional information on the quality of water and the state of the aquifer. KCCA staff use a submersible pump to collect water samples following the MECP sampling protocol. Groundwater samples are submitted and analyzed at the MECP laboratory.
The PGMN program allows for an accurate assessment of current groundwater conditions. It provides an early warning system for changes in water levels or in water quality and provides information for making sound land use planning decisions. The information collected serves the critical need for baseline groundwater data in the region. The groundwater monitoring network is integrated with other relevant databases, including the Province’s low water response strategy.
Search and view groundwater level and chemistry data from monitoring wells that are part of the PGMN Program in Ontario.
This data is used in a variety of ways
- Help define emerging issues, trends towards phosphorus levels and climate change
- Provide scientific data to guide environmental assessments and land use policy
- Provide scientific data for KCCA’s Watershed Report Cards and funding applications