Developing Wide-Area Water Quality Monitoring Networks in the Shale Plays of Western Pennsylvania: A Case Study from the Allegheny National Forest Dr. Bruce C. Dickson Chief Scientist Applied Geology and Environmental Science, Inc. Clinton, PA
Cooperative Effort:• Iron Furnace Trout Unlimited (Clarion, PA)• Elk County Conservation District• ColCom Foundation• United States Forest Service• Applied Geology and Environmental Science• United States Army Corps of Engineers
• On Allegheny Plateau• Established 1923• “Allegheny Brush-patch”• ~ 517,000 acres• Encompasses better part of 4 counties
Allegheny National Forest Water Quality Monitoring Network Goals:• Monitor HQ-CWF streams with a focus on Allegheny National Forest covering approximately 175,000 acres;• Generate baseline data in watersheds with ongoing conventional oil and gas extraction and new deep shale development;• Identify and document pollution incidents;• Provide data for internal and external consumption;• Support and cooperate with other monitoring initiatives, networks, and projects;• Create environmental education opportunities with local schools and involve local communities.
Monitoring Approach• Expands on TU Coldwater Conservation Corps Program with data loggers and multi-parameter real-time stations;• Multi-parameter stations based on Susquehanna River Basin Commission watershed monitoring model. Data loggers record: YSI Sondes record: • Temperature • Temperature • Conductivity • Conductivity • Pressure • pH • Dissolved Oxygen • Turbidity • Pressure
Solinst Data Loggers• Cost: ~ $1200; reader $160; software free;• Loggers programmed to record temperature, level, and conductivity at 15 minute intervals (95 observations/day);• Loggers can stay in housing on site nearly 6 months.
Data Logger Locations: Iron Run Logger (in-place 2 months)• Salmon Creek Watershed: Four Mile Run* The Branch• Spring Creek Watershed: Spring Creek Hunter Creek• Millstone Creek Watershed Log Run• West Branch Blue Jay Creek• East Hickory Creek*• McCaferdy Run• Iron Run• Clawson Run *PAFBC Designated Wilderness Trout Fishery
Multi-Parameter Real Time Satellite Stations w/Web Data Cost: YSI Sonde: $ 5,000 Hardware: $ 5,000 Data Upload: Variable Data is uploaded from the remote multi-parameter station at various time intervals. Data viewing and access can be granted to project partners and other organizations by project administrator. Data capture can be programmed for 15 minute intervals w/o upload to internet. Data downloaded manually if desired.
Multi-Parameter Satellite StationsWatersheds and TU Conservation Success Index (CSI) Salmon Creek 64 Spring Creek 61 Millstone Creek 41 South Branch Tionesta Creek 62
Network Operation Experience Monitoring network locations: • Most permanent stations on Federal land (USFS/USACE); • USFS requires site assessment (Environmental/Cultural); • Bureaucratic forms and review delays. Equipment Calibration (internal): • All equipment can be calibrated in-house if desired; • Requires lab standards, understanding of equipment, space. Equipment Calibration (external): • WHY ? Data validity (accuracy) and data use by other parties; • Permanent station YSI Sondes at $30/unit/month; • Loggers semi-annually at ~ $10/unit.
Network Operation ExperienceData logger accuracy for conductivity (µS/cm):• Solinst data loggers with range of 0 – 80,000 µS/cm ;• Accuracy 2% between 500 – 80,000 µS/cm range;• Network data consistently < 500 µS/cm, often < 40 µS/cm.• Conducted bench test to verify accuracy: • Lab standards at - 23.8, 50, 100, 200, 400 µS/cm; • Accuracy ranged from 2% - 6% from 100 – 400 µS/cm; • 10% for 50 µS/cm and 40% for 23.8 µS/cm.• Replacing with Hobo loggers at 0 – 1000 µS/cm range with advertised 2% accuracy.• Initiating logger-loaner program for Solinst loggers. • Schools/TU chapters with appropriate applications.
Network Operation ExperiencePermanent locations:• Satellite or cell transmission to internet sites.• Locating on in-place infrastructure or in remote areas;• Operating costs higher with more frequent data transmission to internet (~ $57/month/seven parameters/4 hr interval);• Store data in YSI Sonde and download monthly prior to recalibration.
Outreach:Partnered with the Forest Area School District (West Forestand East Forest Elementary and High School) to shareinformation and develop locally based educational programsfor 4th and 9th graders under the PA STEM (Science TechnologyEngineering Math) Program.Partnered with Hickory Grove Elementary and High School inBrookville (PA) to share information and develop educationalprograms for grades 1 -12 to develop curriculum for scienceeducation through the PADEP Environmental Education GrantProgram.
Acknowledgements:Iron Furnace TU would like to thank the Colcom Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA for thefunding to support this project. We also thank our primary cooperating partnersincluding the Elk County Conservation District, US Forest Service, and US ArmyCorps of Engineers.Applied Geology and Environmental Science provides projectmanagement/oversight, technical support, and data management for themonitoring project.
For additional information please contact: Bruce Dickson, PhD Chief Scientist AGES, Inc. 2402 Hookstown Grade Road, Suite 200 Clinton, PA 15026 814.806.6073 (mobile) 412.264.6453 (office) 412.264.6567 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org