Lev posted an update 3 years, 11 months ago
New guy here. I have a very marginal trout stream near me. Its surrounded by development and is very flashy – especially in the spring. I’d like to measure water temperature, DO and maybe pH. Do I need to take samples and send them to a lab? Do I add chemical parameters into a data logger by hand? I guess I need to know more about how to best monitor my stream. I was hoping there would be an automated way to monitor the stream 24/7.
Before you can decide on the best way to monitor your stream, you really need to come up with a concrete question (or questions) about your stream that you desire to answer. Once you’ve decided on the question, developing the monitoring plan is much more straightforward. Without that question, any monitoring is likely to end up being a waste of time and resources.
Of the parameters you mentioned – temperature is fairly easy and inexpensive to measure continuously. Dissolved oxygen probes are expensive and require significantly more maintenance than a simple temperature probe, but continuous DO is definitely doable. Unless the question you want to answer is strongly dependent on pH or acidity, I’d recommend steering away from attempting anything with continuous pH. Probes for pH are expensive, short lived, and need constant calibration and maintenance.