Stakeholders, including municipal stormwater permittees in Clark and Cowlitz counties, want to know how urban stream health changes over time in the Lower Columbia region since the area is developed and stormwater management actions are implemented more broadly.
This monitoring is designed to assess the current stream conditions and eventually answer the question: Are the quality and biota conditions of receiving waters in the region improving with broad implementation of required stormwater management practices?
The Lower Columbia urban streams (LCUS) study collects water chemistry, water flow, sediment chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrate samples, and in-stream and riparian habitat information as stream health indicators.
Read the Quality Assurance Project Plan (2020), Addendum 1 (2021), for detailed information about the study design, sampling schedules, and more.
- Data loggers measuring water level and conductivity are deployed in October (starting from 2020), the year before the summer sampling event at each site. Summer sampling includes benthic macroinvertebrates, sediment chemistry, water chemistry, and physical habitat condition analysis.
- For data analysis, we will also gather landscape characteristics, contributing watersheds, and stream health-stressor identification across the region.
The study includes hand-picked urban stream sites in the municipal stormwater permitted area in Clark and Cowlitz counties. Eight or nine sites are monitored each year. Five sites are monitored annually and the other sites form rotating panels (i.e., sampled once in five years).
Clark County leads the LCUS monitoring to assess status and trends of small streams in urban and urbanizing areas in the Lower Columbia River region.
This study focuses on the urban and urbanizing areas under the jurisdiction of municipal stormwater NPDES municipal stormwater permittees and asks:
- What are the status and trends in water quality and hydrology in surface waters draining subwatersheds?
- What are the status and trends of in-stream biological health, sediment quality, and in-stream/riparian habitat conditions?
Project tasks and key deliverables
Task 1 Project Management and Semi-annual progress reports: R1(Q1-Q22020), R2(Q3-Q42020), R3(Q1-Q22021), R4(Q3-Q42021), R5(Q1-Q22022), R6(Q3-Q42022), R7(Q1-Q22023), R8(Q3-Q42023)
Task 2 Station set up: equipment purchase receipt, 2020 equipment installation for trend sites & status sites, WY2022 equipment set up, 2023 equipment set up
Task 3 Continuous data collection: Sampling completeness WY2021, WY2022, WY2023
Task 4 Data management: EIM upload for WY2021, WY2022, WY2023, partial WY2024
Task 5 Data analysis and reporting: Flow metric calculation, Annual Reports for WY2021, WY2022, and WY2023