Water quality in the Richmond

Water quality monitoring

Datalogger locations The Richmond River’s water quality is influenced by natural processes such as the tide, rainfall and season, and by anthropogenic (human induced) clearing, draining and management, which can result in high nutrients, turbid water, acid water and blackwater. Rous County Council monitors the rivers' water quality through weekly spot tests and strategically located dataloggers (see map, click to enlarge). Spot testing is indicative of trends experienced by the river on a broad scale, and does not take into account daily fluctuations relating to tide and localised rainfall. This link to turbidity shows filtered samples of river water before and after rain. Dataloggers record hourly averages and clearly show daily trends. For further information, data is available below, or please see this Review of Water Quality in Rocky Mouth Creek.

 

 

 

Weekly water quality monitoring graphs

2017 Coraki Kilgin Rocky Mouth Creek Swan Bay Woodburn Bagotville Barrage
2016 Coraki Kilgin Rocky Mouth Creek Swan Bay Woodburn Bagotville Barrage
2015 Coraki Kilgin Rocky Mouth Creek Swan Bay Woodburn  
2014 Coraki Kilgin Rocky Mouth Creek Swan Bay Woodburn  
2013 Coraki Kilgin Rocky Mouth Creek Swan Bay Woodburn  

12-month historical water quality data

March 2017 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
February 2017 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
January 2017 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
December 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
November 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
October 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
September 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North  Creek
August 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
July 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
June 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
May 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek
April 2016 Tuckean Swamp
Site 1
Tuckean Swamp
Site 2
Tuckean Swamp
Site 4
Rocky Mouth Creek North Creek

These parameters are used in the above data graphs to determine water quality levels:

  • Electrical conductivity
    Electrical conductivity (EC) is a measure of the concentration of ion in solution. EC is temperature-dependant (increasing approximately 2-3% per degree Celsius). International convention dictated that the measurements are to be standardised to 15oC; this is known as specific conductivity. The electrical conductivity of sea water is 55-60mS/cm, which converts to 35 parts per thousand (ppt). EC below 1.8mS/cm is considered fresh by the Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council (ANZECC) Water Quality Guidelines.
     
  • pH
    pH is a measure of acidity/alkalinity, with values ranging from 0 to 14. pH; values below 7 indicate acidic conditions. ANZECC guidelines for the protection of aquatic ecosystems indicated that a pH range between 6.5 and 9 is acceptable.
     
  • Dissolved oxygen
    Dissolved oxygen (DO) in terms of mg/L is a measure of the concentration of oxygen dissolved into the water. The concentration of oxygen in water can be influenced by temperature, pressure and ionic concentration. The DO concentration can vary greatly with biological activity. ANZECC guidelines recommend that DO is above 6mg/L over a diurnal cycle. DO is one of the most important water quality parameters to measure the health of a water body.
     
  • Temperature
    The ANZECC guidelines for the protection of aquatic ecosystems for temperature of fresh and marine waters is <2oC change. While for a fully marine system this sounds reasonable, most waterways can vary up to 10oC over the daily cycle, as a result of solar radiation inputs and convection by atmospheric temperature. This is especially noticeable in shallow or stratified waters without shading riparian vegetation.
     
  • Total dissolved solids (TDS)
    TDS is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic dissolved molecular, ionized or suspended micro-granular substances in the water, including minerals, salts or metals measured in parts per thousand (ppt).
     
  • Turbidity
    Turbidity is a measure used to quantify the degree to which light travelling through the water column is scattered by suspended particles. Increasing turbidity will reduce light penetration into a water body, and therefore have a detrimental effect on the potential for photosynthesis. If turbidity is mainly caused by organic particles, there is a high risk of oxygen depletion.The ANZECC guidelines for the protection of aquatic ecosystems for turbidity of fresh and marine waters is <10% seasonal change. This idea of seasonal change allows for flood events where there is an increase suspended load that will be settled out after the fresh has passed.
     
  • Water level
    This parameter measures the rises and falls in water level. These variations can be attributed to the incoming and outgoing tides, as well as rainfall events.
     
  • Rainfall
    Rainfall is often a trigger for changes in water quality.

Definition sources: Manly Hydraulics Laboratory.