Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Long Term Resource Monitoring


Water Quality

Standardized Monitoring
      Fixed Site Sampling
      Stratified Random Sampling
Data Summaries and Tools
      Stratified Random Sampling
      Fixed Site Sampling
Data Download

Water quality graphicBackground

The Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM) Water Quality component monitors and reports status and trends in the water quality of the Upper Mississippi River System. The water quality component focuses on a subset of limnological variables related to habitat quality and ecosystem function that includes physicochemical features, suspended sediment, and major plant nutrients known to be significant to aquatic habitat in this system. The LTRM is designed to complement, not replace or duplicate, the monitoring programs of other state and Federal agencies. It therefore includes some limnological characteristics not routinely monitored in water quality programs and it excludes others that are of concern primarily for human consumption or regulatory purposes (e.g., chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, fecal streptococcus, heavy metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls).

The LTRM monitoring network for water quality has utilized a mixed design for sampling since 1993. In this design, a relatively small number of fixed sites are monitored repeatedly at intervals ranging from once every two weeks to once every two months. Fixed sites were selected nonrandomly, additional monitoring occurs at a larger number of randomly selected locations at seasonal (quarterly) intervals. The random sampling utilizes a stratified design, whereby sites are allocated randomly within sampling strata; strata are determined by aquatic areas types as defined by Wilcox (1993).

The summaries provided in this Web report are presented separately for the fixed sites and randomly selected sites. The data presented here represent a concerted effort by personnel of the state agencies and the U.S. Geological Survey who collected, compiled, verified, and organized the data. The data used in these reports will represent the most updated data available at the time this report was generated. Therefore, the results presented here may change upon completion of annual updates done in the future.

Additional information on the water quality of the UMRS based on LTRM data can be found in existing publications including summaries for fixed-site sampling prior to 1993 (Gent et. al. 1990, 1996; Schellhaass and Benjamin 1990; Anderson et. al. 1991; Schellhaass and Langrehr 1992; Richardson 1993; Richardson and Clemment 1993; Burdis 1997); annual summaries for 1993-1996 (Soballe et. al. 1999, 2002a-d); portions of LTRMP multicomponent reports (Heglund et. al. 2004, National Biological Service et. al. 1994, U.S. Geological Survey 1999, Wiener et. al. 2002), and a multiyear synthesis report (Houser et. al. 2005).


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