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Region 7: Evaluating Passive Sampling Techniques for Conducting Probabilistic Stream Monitoring

2020 Regional-State-Tribal Innovation Projects

State water quality monitoring strategies often rely on quarterly grab samples, which can miss pollution from sporadic run-off events. Better tools are needed to assess the impact of biocides, nutrients, and metals on aquatic life in headwater streams as part of probabilistic stream monitoring. Passive water quality samplers, which use an absorbent material deployed for several weeks to collect chemicals, may be an effective way to detect transient compounds and for concentrating chemicals that are present in trace quantities.

This project will test passive sampling techniques that can detect chemicals that occur sporadically or at low concentrations. A variety of low-cost samplers will be used in streams assessed under the Kansas Stream Monitoring program. The study will determine their effectiveness and evaluate a more cost-effective way to measure metals accumulation in streams that could replace the current costly approach that uses fish tissue analysis. Project results will allow a unique comprehensive assessment of water quality with tools and techniques that can be scaled to other regions, states, and tribes.

Partners: Kansas Department of Health and Environment