Monitoring Plan

Conewago Creek Watershed
Monitoring Plan

 

 

This briefing synthesizes discussions and input from across the Conewago Initiative partners and advisors (Chesapeake Bay Science and Technical Advisory Committee) on the development of a shared monitoring plan and approach for the Conewago Creek and its tributaries.

 

  1. I.      Monitoring Goals:
    1. BAY:  Assess N, P, and sediment loads discharged by the Conewago basin with goal of identifying changes in pollutant concentration in response to practice implementation.
    2. LOCAL:  Assess changes in habitat/aquatic life to evaluate stream reach health with goal of identifying response to practice implementation.

 

  1. II.    Monitoring Locations:
    1. Monitoring locations are based on existing/past monitoring conducted and are also selected to be representative of land practices across the watershed and best capture subwatershed information where new practices are anticipated and will be concentrated.
      1. 7 Mainstem Sampling Locations
      2. 6 Tributary Sampling Locations
    2. Intensive subwatershed monitoring using paired USGS gauges is desired but not realistic at this time due to federal budget constraints.  Subwatershed candidates informed by best professional judgment of conservation districts and farm survey results and discussed by the Monitoring Team include Hoffer Creek, Lynch Run, and 1st Unnamed Tributary North.  Further discussion of the appropriate subwatershed for this paired monitoring approach will be put on hold pending financial resources to establish paired gauges in the subwatershed.


  1. III.  Monitoring Categories:  The following monitoring categories were identified by Conewago Initiative partners and are currently underway or are expected to be added.
Category Frequency Parameters Who[1] Duration Goal (min)
Baseflow water quality Bimonthly (6X/Y) 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly

pHConductivity

Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

Temperature

Total Nitrogen (TN)

Total Phosphorus (TP)

Turbidity

 

Total Phosphorus (TP)

Dissolved Phosphorus (DP)

P, Ortho (DIP)

Nitrate (NO3)

Nitrate plus Nitrite (NO3+2)

Ammonia (NH4)

Total Nitrogen (TN)

Dissolved Nitrogen (DN)

pH

Conductivity

Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

Temperature

Alkalinity

Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

Turbidity

Chloride and Sulfate (for denitrification)

Total Magnesium

Total Calcium

Total Organic Carbon

 

  • DCCD2

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • USGS gauges (stations 3 and 11)
5 to 10 Y
Macroinvertebrate Assessment Triennial (1X/3Y) Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) referenced in ICES[2](Instream Comprehensive Evaluation Surveys) protocol – Biological Sampling Methods, p. 17 
  • DCCD
  • PA DEP
  • Etown College

 

5 to 10 Y
Stream Habitat Assessment (SHA) Triennial (1X/3Y) DEP’s Water Quality Network Habitat Assessment (ICE protocol), p. 23
  • DCCD
  • PA DEP
  • Etown College

 

 

5 to 10 Y
Stormflow water quality 2 storms per quarter (8X/Y), with 4-5 samples per storm (NOTE: USGS limited to submitting 10 samples per year) Total Phosphorus (TP)Dissolved Phosphorus (DP)

P, Ortho (DIP)

Nitrate (NO3)

Nitrate plus Nitrite (NO3+2)

Ammonia (NH4)

Total Nitrogen (TN)

Dissolved Nitrogen (DN)

pH

Conductivity

Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

Temperature

Alkalinity

Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

Turbidity

Chloride and Sulfate (for denitrification)

Total Magnesium

Total Calcium

Total Organic Carbon

 

 

  • USGS gauges (stations 3 and 11)

 

5 to 10 Y
Stream stage Continuous monitoring
  • USGS gauges (stations 3 and 11)
5 to 10 Y
Discharge measurements Flow measurements taken during baseflow water quality monitoring (bimonthly 6X/Y) 

Continuous monitoring using transducers plus frequent periodic visits to establish stable rating

  • DCCD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • USGS (stations 3 and 11
5 to 10 Y
Fish Community Assessment Triennial (1X/3Y)
  • LancCCD
  • TCCCA
  • PFBC
10 Y

 


 

  1. IV.  Monitoring Stations The following table describes the subwatershed stream stations and the monitoring categories to be conducted at each.  The stations are listed chronologically – from upstream to downstream by subwatershed.  The second column “number on map” corresponds with the station locations shown on the map.  A summary of the sampling to be conducted is as follows:

 

  • Eleven (11) stations are recommended for baseflow water quality sampling.
  • Two (2) stations are recommended for intensive discharge measurements to establish stable rates, eight (8) others for bimonthly flow measurements, one one (1) other for biennial flow measurements.
  • Thirteen (12) stations are recommended for stream habitat assessment (SHA).
  • Thirteen (12) stations are recommended for macroinvertebrate assessment.
  • Three (3) stations are recommended for fish assessment.
  • Two (2) stations are recommended for stormflow water quality sampling.
  • Two (2) USGS gauging stations (at which baseflow and stormflow water quality sampling and intensive discharge measurements will be conducted).[3]
    Link to real time data for USGS 01573710 (Site 11 on map):

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/uv?site_no=01573710

Link to real time data for USGS 01573695 (Site 3 on map):

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/uv?site_no=01573695

 

 

Conewago Monitoring Plan

SubWatershed No. on Map Station ID or location description Who What Is currently monitored Proposed additions/changes Rationale
Conewago
Creek
1 Game Lands 145 near Buckshot Spring DCCDDEP NA (new station)
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. SHA, 1X/3Y
  3. Macroinvertebrates, , 1X/3Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
  5. Fish assessment
Single station to capture Conewago Creek in headwaters upstream of major tributaries and prior to significant land use influences. PA DEP (Dan Bogar) conducted sampling in spring 2010.  One of two stations proposed to become permanent/ongoing sampling locations in Lebanon County.  Protocol should mirror DCCD sampling locations.  Fish assessment would assess coldwater fisheries potential.
3 CNWG 13.59Wenger Farm
USGS 01573695
DCCDDEP
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/5Y
  3. SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
  5. USGS Stream Gauge for baseflow, discharge measurements, and storm sampling
Continue macros and SHA, increase to Triennial (1/3Y). Captures downstream influence of Little Conewago tributary on mainstem.
5 Hershey Meadows EtownTCCCA

PFBC

  1. Baseflow water quality, 2X/Y Macroinvertebrate assessment, 2X/Y

 

  1. Discharge measurement (flow measurement)
  2. SHA – conduct with macros
  3. Fish assessment

 

 

Monitoring underway with pre- and post instream restoration conducted by TCCCA, USFWS, DEP (319 project) makes this mainstem location an important site for inclusion in monitoring initiative.  Added benefit is the visibility and accessibility of this site. Captures downstream influence of Hoffer Creek..  Fish assessment would monitor fish habitat improvements and track historic fish sampling.
7 CNWG 09.23Aberdeen Mills DCCD 
  1. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/5Y
  2. SHA, 1/5Y

 

Continue monitoring; increase frequency of macros and SHA to Triennial (1X/3Y) Existing DCCD site.  Captures downstream influence of Hershey Meadows and other proposed mainstem restoration projects.
10 CNWG 06.24 DCCD
  1. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/5Y
  2. SHA, 1/5Y
Continue monitoring; increase macros and SHA to Triennial (1/3Y) Captures downstream influence of Lynch and Brills Run.
11 USGS 01573710
near Hillsdale/
Sawmill Rd intersection
USGSDEP NA (new station)
  1. Add USGS Stream Gauge for baseflow water quality, discharge measurements, and storm sampling.
Overall discharge information for the basin that will include continuous monitoring with water quality measures for baseflow and stormflow.
  13 CNWG 01.75 DCCD 
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macro assessment 1/5Y
  3. SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
  5. Continue all current monitoring; increase macros and SHA to 1/3Y
  6. Add fish assessment.
Existing DCCD site.  Captures all tributaries and represents most downstream monitoring point.  Fish assessment will assess lower watershed warmwater fishery.
Little Conewago
Creek
2 LCON 00.00 DCCD DEP NA (new station)
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate  assessment, 1/3Y
  3. SHA, 1/3Y
  4. Discharge measurement (flow measurement), 6X/Y

 

Little Conewago Creek – water quality and macroinvertebrate upstream of confluence with Conewago Creek.  DEP has conducted assessment in this reach in the past.  This is one of two proposed stations within the Lebanon County portion of the watershed.
Hoffer
Creek
4 HOFR 00.02 DCCD
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/5Y
  3. SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y

 

Continue all current monitoring; increase macros and SHA to 1/3Y Stations 4, 5, 8, 9, and 11 are all currently monitored by DCCD and should be continued with additions noted.
Gallagher Run 6 GALG 00.45 DCCD
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/2Y
  3. SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
Continue all current monitoring; increase macros and SHA to 1/3Y
Brills Run 8 BRIL 00.19 DCCD
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/2Y
  3.  SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
Continue all current monitoring; increase macros and SHA to 1/3Y
Lynch Run 9 LYNCH 00.20 DCCD
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/2Y
  3.  SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
Continue all current monitoring; increase macros and SHA to 1/3Y
1st Unnamed Tributary North 12 UNTR 00.36 DCCD
  1. Baseflow water quality, 6X/Y
  2. Macroinvertebrate assessment 1/2Y
  3.  SHA, 1/5Y
  4. Discharge (flow) measurement, 6X/Y
Continue all current monitoring; increase macros and SHA to 1/3Y

 

 


 

  1. V.    Data Management.  The monitoring network for the Conewago Creek Initiative will produce a substantial amount of data of varying types that will need to be stored in a central location for easy use in the project.  The output data will be produced in a variety of formats both electronically and hard copy.  As part of its Conewago information technology (IT) platform, ZedX will acquire, assimilate, and distribute this data in an efficient and user-friendly manner.  The data will be kept secure as required and will be used in spatial displays, overlays, and inputs to and verification of models.Data can be sent to or acquired by ZedX in a variety of methods.  Some data, such as USGS guage station data, can be downloaded automatically from the Web, while other data, like stream assessments, will be acquired via hard copy in person or through mail delivery.  Where appropriate and possible, the IT platform will allow for data upload directly to the central database.  Other methods, including email (zidek@zedxinc.com), fax (814-357-8499), and ftp (ftp.zedxinc.com), will also be available for data sharing.

    Contact information:
    Jeremy Zidek
    Senior Research Scientist
    ZedX, Inc.
    369 Rolling Ridge Drive
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    phn: (814) 357-8490
    fax: (814) 357-8499

 

 

 

  1. VI.  Costs.  Costs of implementing this monitoring plan total approximately $56,000 to $62,500 annually.  Funding for operation and maintenance of the two USGS gages will be sought on an annual basis by USGS and should be available through 2014.  Funding for all additional monitoring activities is available through April 30, 2013 through existing funding sources, including Section 604b, Section 319, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

 

For this monitoring plan to continue long term so that water quality impacts of the Conewago Creek Initiative’s conservation work can be measured, additional funding beyond 2013-14 will need to be secured.

 

The following represents a breakdown of monitoring costs:

 

Conewago Monitoring Plan Cost Estimates

Monitoring Element Description Annual Cost
USGS Gage #1 (Station 11) Includes annual gage costs ($14,500), water quality sampling ($8,500), statistical related interpretations ($2,000), and project maintenance ($5,000) $30,000
USGA Gage #2 (Station 3) Includes all of the above, but second gage results in overall costs savings $20,000
Macroinvertebrate sampling At 12 sites.  $553.48 per site.  Includes labor for collection, subsampling, identification, and entering data.  Mileage included as well. $6,641.76
Water quality sampling $115.75 per site. 8 sites @ 6X per year; 1 site @ 2X per year.  Includes labor for collection/delivery and stream discharge measurement, and data entry.  Lab analysis quote included (for TP, Orthophosphorus, Nitrate, TKN, TN) $5,787.50
Fish sampling Lancaster CCD, TCCCA in kind contribution $0
TOTAL ANNUAL COSTS (MACRO SAMPLING YEAR) $62,430
TOTAL ANNUAL COSTS (NON MACRO SAMPLING YEAR) $55,788

 



[1] Based on entity currently monitoring and/or proposed entity(ies)

2 Dauphin County Conservation District (DCCD)

[3] There have been discussions about the number of one or two additional USGS gauging stations to be situated in a subwatershed for intensive subwatershed monitoring.  Financial resources are not available for these additional gauges at this time.  If they do become available, integration of methodology for ungaged stream locations is recommended, Archfield, S.A., Vogel, R.M., Steeves, P.A., Brandt, S.L., Weiskel, P.K., and Garabedian, S.P., 2010, The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator: A decision-support tool to assess water availability at ungaged stream locations in Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5227, 41 p. plus CD-ROM.