Water quality is determined by a variety of factors. Parameters that may be used to monitor the water quality of Silver Creek are:
- Habitat – land use, substrate, flow, depth, riparian vegetation, stream shape, erosion
- Chemical – dissolved oxygen, E.coli, nitrate, nitrite, turbidity, phosphorus, pH, temperature change, total suspended solids, total solids, and water temperature
- Biological – stream macro-invertebrates
Polluted water can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
The #1 source of water pollution by volume is sediment!
- Nutrients are essential for plants and animals, but too much can cause harmful effects. Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose and that process removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic organisms can’t exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
- Sediments can cloud the water which can hamper the growths of aquatic plants. It can destroy aquatic habitats.
- Water temperature affects when animals and plants feed, reproduce, and migrate.
- Dissolved Oxygen is essential for animals living in the water.
- Chemical contaminants can affect the growth, survival and reproducibility of benthic organisms.
- Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into areas and create health hazards for all living things.
- Litter – plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles and cigarette butts – washed into waterbodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life.