Stream Monitoring Groups
Several citizen volunteer groups and government agencies have been conducting stream monitoring throughout Loudoun County for several years. In 2004, Loudoun Watershed Watch presented one of the first countywide comprehensive stream monitoring strategy reports. The recommendations at that time were to support a countywide stream monitoring program to assess changes in stream health and to collaborate to develop an updated stream monitoring strategy to provide more representative data on watersheds.
State of the Streams Report
In 2005, Loudoun Watershed Watch summarized their findings in the State of the Streams report. Many of the suggestions were further discussed and solidified during several of the Strategy for Watershed Management Solutions (SWMS) meetings held in 2006.
2009 Loudoun County Project
Components of the 2009 Loudoun County stream assessment project include:
- Benthic macroinvertebrates are the insects and other small creatures that live on the stream bottom. A rich and diverse community of these small animals indicates that the stream is generally in good to excellent condition. Conversely, finding only a few macroinvertebrates or only certain types that are tolerant of harsh conditions indicates generally poor stream conditions.
- Physical characteristics of the stream, including channel cross section, amount of sediment on the stream bed, obstructions, water depth and velocity, bank stability, and vegetation on the bank and adjacent to the stream.
- Water quality field measurements such as temperature, pH and specific conductivity (dependent on the concentration of dissolved solids in the water).