Water Quality Monitoring

Water quality monitoring is a vital part of the watershed planning effort, providing information to better understand where pollutants originate and to determine the best course of action to reduce those pollutants. WREC and Purdue University have partnered on a professional water quality monitoring program. Through this effort, we collected water chemistry samples, fish and bug samples, and assessed habitat. We continue to collect “snap shot” water quality data through our twice annual (Spring and Fall) Wabash Sampling Blitz.

Intensive Water Quality Sampling

Data collected through the current water quality monitoring program is focused on demonstrating a change in water quality. Baseline data were collected from March 2009 through November 2012. 

When the monitoring committee met in the fall of 2008, they chose to focus their efforts on both the rural and urban portions of the watershed and selected two representative sub-watersheds to the Wabash River. The urban sub-watershed is represented by Elliott Ditch, while Little Wea Creek represents the rural portion of the watershed. A third site on Little Pine Creek serves as the control by providing an idea of climatic and regional changes in water quality which are independent of the implementation of water quality improvement projects.

You can view real-time flow and gage height data for the Wabash River, collected by the USGS gage on the Brown Street overlook in West Lafayette. 


Biological Community Assessment and Habitat Monitoring

A second phase of the water quality program focused on the assessment of the biological communities and habitat present within ten of the streams within the Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River watershed. Fish, bugs (macroinvertebrates), and habitat were assessed at each site.

Water Chemistry Sampling

We continue to host the Wabash Sampling Blitz twice a year to collect a “snapshot” of water quality data for the Wabash River and its tributaries.  Volunteers collect water samples and physical measurements such as temperature and clarity. 

Volunteers visit almost 200 streams within the watershed occurs each spring and fall. Visit Wabash Sampling Blitz to review results and to learn how to volunteer for future Blitz events.