BIG CREEK WATER QUALITY DATA

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Graphs of water quality measurements

 Graph of turbidity after 1999 fire

Graph of coliform counts

 Water Quality and Coliform Data

We measure several aspects of water quality in Big Creek every month. These include water and air temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and conductivity. The amount of dissolved oxygen is very important for aquatic animals, as is water temperature. We also measure turbidity, a measure of sediment load, and count fecal coliform bacteria, a measure of contamination by feces of warm-blooded animals. Water quality is also measured on a monthly basis by the Central Coast Ambient Montioring Project (CCAMP).  

 Graphs showing average water quality measurements taken in Big Creek after 7-24-99. Data table. Procedures.
 
 
 
 
 
 

  Graphs showing the changes in turbidity following the Kirk wildfire in September-October, 1999. The high peaks represent water that is nearly opaque, even when looking through a small vial. Values below 1 are clear water, although not necessarily completely pure and clean. Turbidity levels are decreasing each year since the fire. For example, turbidity peaked at 40 J.T.U. peak after a 4' flood in January 2002, while a similar flood in November 2002 peaked at a J.T.U. of 6. See the flood peak page for details. Procedure.
 


 Summary of Big Creek counts of coliform bacteria.

The Kirk wildfire burned most of the watershed in September 1999, dramatically affecting water quality in the following years. Note the general upward trend (Total Coliform) and downward trend (Fecal Coliform) since late January of 2000, punctuated by peaks during winter flooding events. Compare this to the turbidity data presented above. Note that the procedures changed several times in the first two years but have been relatively consistent since January-01.Data Table. Procedures.

 


 Return to Stream Studies Page

 Return to Big Creek Home Page

Graphs of water quality measurements

 Graph of turbidity after 1999 fire

Graph of coliform counts