Chemical/Physical Monitoring Program Design & Community Partnerships MS4 Workshop 08 Dec, 2010
Why Monitor? • Regulations • MS4 Phase I & II • Local and regional TMDLs • Chesapeake Bay TMDL & Virginia WIP (Phase I) • PCB TMDLs (i.e. Potomac River, upcoming James River) • New state regulations • New federal regulations • Need to know what’s happening in our communities • Human health issues • Quality of life issues • Property damage (flooding, sediment deposits, etc.) • Impacts to wildlife
The Issue • Stormwater monitoring is difficult. • Complexities of stormwater monitoring goes beyond simply obtaining grab samples from a drainage area/creek/etc.
Some of these complexities… • monitoring BMPs vs. monitoring receiving streams • grabs vs. composites • first flush • sample collection timing • sample “holding” time • automated sampler deployments • biological • chemical/physical parameters • flow measurements • QA/QC • Many, many more…
What considerations should we have in designing and implementing an effective monitoring plan?
Monitoring Design • Think about the questions you want to answer • Design monitoring to answer those questions • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) & Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP) needed • If focus is on regulatory requirements, consider monitoring designs that will answer questions of local interest • Look for opportunities to combine water monitoring with community education
What to Monitor for… • Water quality monitoring parameters • Nutrients • Bacteria • Dissolved Oxygen • Turbidity • Conductivity • pH • Chlorophyll a • Benthic Macroinvertebrates • Physical Habitat Assessment • Flow monitoring • Metals, PCBs, salt, others…
Monitoring BMPs vs. Stream Monitoring • Does the site have defined channels and continuous flows? • Instantaneous samples vs automated samplers?
First flush samples versus composite? • Staff or equipment timing • Adequate sample volume • Timing of sampling • Staff availability for collecting samples • Automated sampler set up • Monitor weather for potential storm events
Sample Holding Times • WWTP permits require Chain of Custody (COC) for water samples. • Environmental samples do not require COC unless it is to be used for legal purposes. • With COC, there are very strict holding times for samples to be analyzed. • This can be restrictive for MS4 managers.
Sample Holding Time Example • Bacteria (fecal coliform, E. coli, Enterococci) • COC holding time – 6 hours • Environmental sample holding time – 24 hrs • If treated as an environmental sample, MS4 managers and staff have additional flexibility for processing samples.
The Bottom Line • Need to budget resources for monitoring • Staff and labor intensive • Automated samplers are expensive • Sample analysis expenses (number and frequency) • A good & creative monitoring plan will help address these issues.
Building Community Partnerships:Virginia’s Citizen Monitoring History • 25 years of volunteer monitoring efforts in Virginia. • Long Term Programs Include: • Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (1985) • Smith Mt. Lake Vol Monitoring (1987) • Friends of the North Fork Shenandoah (1988) • Today there are over 100+ active volunteer water monitoring groups throughout the state. • Many volunteer groups have a DEQ approved QAPP. Infrastructure exists for localities to utilize.
DEQ Data Acceptance Categories For Non-Agency Data Level III - approved by DEQ- (approved QAPP, and use DEQ approved methodologies) Could be used for 303(d) List, TMDL Implementation tracking, Pollution Response (PReP), etc. Level II - partially approved-(approved QAPP, use similar but not DEQ approved methods) Could be used in establishing new DEQ sampling stations, for TMDL Implementation tracking, etc. Level I - not approved- (no DEQ approved QAPP or methodologies) Used for education or to identify water quality problems for Pollution Response
Volunteer Monitoring Sites in Virginia Ambient and/or bacteria Benthic Both ambient and benthic
Volunteer/Citizen Engagement • Efforts have taught citizens: • How to communicate effectively with others • Watershed Report Cards
Local Data Use Evaluate local water conditions Communicate this to the public Baseline data for measuring BMP implementation successes Identify undocumented pollution sources Pollution hotspot source tracking Partnerships with localities (especially with MS4 localities)
Water Monitoring • Samples collected by volunteers under ACB’s volunteer water monitoring program (RiverTrends) • Partnership with City of Richmond Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) • DPU analyzes water samples at Richmond WWTP laboratory
Reedy Creek Data Example VA DEQ Standard = 235 MPN/100mL
Water Monitoring • Flow monitoring • Goal: • Document reduction of stormwater flows in Reedy Creek before and after BMP implementation on landscape • Modeled on 2006 Burnsville, MN Raingarden Study
Reedy Creek Flow Monitoring • Using In-Situ probes for monitoring stream flow. • Pressure Sensor • 2 rain gages in watershed • NBC 12 • Patrick Henry Charter School
You are not alone… • Consult with experienced professionals. Seek guidance on developing robust and cost-effective options. • DEQ • VA Water Monitoring Council • DCR • Other MS4 programs (peer to peer learning) • Non-profits (ACB, Izaak Walton League, etc.) • Academia • Recognize that no one person has seen or done it all…
You are not alone… • Consider developing a simple monitoring plan first. Not necessary to do it all at once. • Create basic program • See what works and what does not • Do these tools answer local management questions? • Modify if necessary
Closing statement • Monitoring is not an ends… • One management tool to help us focus limited resources. • Monitoring can be an engagement tool. • Use to build community partnerships and trust • Use it to communicate complex issues simply • Use to involve citizens in local restoration efforts • Use to measure our successes
Questions? Chris French, VA Director 530 E. Main Street, Suite 200 Richmond, VA 23219 email@example.com (804) 775-0951