Plover River Water Quality
AT. & Turyk, NB.
Task Force Program, UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources
Importance of Project
In 1997 the Plover River Alliance, a community organization, was created with the purpose of bringing landowners, county and state officials, and concerned citizens together with the objective of “continuing to protect, preserve, and enhance the aesthetics, recreation, and water quality of the Plover River corridor.” In 1999 a study was initiated to monitor water quality throughout the Plover River Watershed. This study is being done by the Environmental Task Force and is supported by the Golden Sands RC&D, Plover River Alliance, Izaak Walton League, Stevens Point Water & Sewer Department, the Portage County Wildlife Club, and the Portage & Marathon County Land Conservation Departments.
The Plover River travels southwesterly for 42 miles through Langlade, Marathon, and Portage Counties. The Plover River has never had water quality sampled to its entire length. Water quality data is essential for a beneficial management plan to be implemented thus protecting the river and it’s watershed for multiple uses. Uses include swimming, fishing, canoeing, and aesthic beauty. The Stevens Point municipal well field, which provides drinking water for the entire Stevens Point area, is located at the lower end of the watershed. According to the Plover River Plan (Portage County Planning and Zoning, 2000), 64% of the water that comes from the wells originates directly from the Plover River itself; therefore, it is essential that Portage County work to protect the Plover River.
The principle goal of this project, which is being conducted from 2000
areas in the watershed that may be contributing nutrients and/or sediment
to the river.|
data to determine if seasonal variation in land use practices affect water
areas that are not contributing nutrients and solids as well as those that
may have non-point source pollution.|
|Establish a foundation of current water quality status that can be used as a baseline in the future.|
|Determine if nutrient sources are originating from inflow groundwater or runoff events|
To accomplish the principle goal, water quality samples are being collected from 18 locations along the Plover River by Portage and Marathon County Land Conservation Department employees. Samples from the 18 sites will be collected for summer and winter baseflow (low flow, mostly groundwater fed) and for several runoff events (storm events). Siphon samplers are used to collect the storm flow events. These samplers collect the water sample once the river reaches a certain height during a runoff event. The samples are taken to the Environmental Task Force Laboratory and analyzed for a number of constituents, including the nitrogen series, phosphorus series, chloride, and suspended solids. Land use maps will be used in order to identify land areas that contribute to each water quality sample point.
Preliminary Results and Future Plans
Although some data has been
collected, more is needed to make an accurate summary. Additional samples need
to be collected throughout the variable conditions that exist during the
year. Preliminary data suggest
that the water quality of the Plover River is generally good; however, we
have identified several areas that have elevated concentrations of contaminants
during baseflow and event conditions. Once the project is completed and results
are available, there will be presentations made to the public to describe
findings. Groups such as the Plover River Alliance will act as the catalyst for
citizen education and the implementation of the management plan once the study
is complete. Meeting times and dates will be published in local papers. If you
wish to be notified about these meetings contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Task Force Lab
College of Natural Resources, Room 216
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Plover River Plan 2000. Portage County Planning and Zoning Department, Stevens Point, WI.
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