Watershed Management Program Resources
Just looking at a lake or stream is not enough when trying to measure water quality. Sampling for
specific water quality variables will give you proper insight into the health of a surface water. In
turn, land management practices can be evaluated for changes that will positively influence the health
of the water body. If a stream sample has results indicating a high fecal coliform count, practices such
as livestock feedlot location, municipal wastewater treatment and urban runoff should be examined.
ND Assessment Methodology
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) outline the proper methods for sample collection and preservation in
order to obtain scientifically valid results from water quality sample collection.
NDCC 61-28-01 Control, Prevention, and Abatement of Pollution of Surface Waters
NDAC 33.1-16-02.1 Water Quality Standards
Macroinvertebrate IBI Reports
Lake Agassiz Plain Ecoregion IBI
Northern Glaciated Plains Ecoregion IBI
ND - Online Macro Key - Valley City State Univ.
MN - Fishes of Minnesota - Distribution Table
IA - Fishes of Iowa
NH - Biomonitoring
USDA - Integrated Taxonomic Information System
EPA - History of IBI
Biological Assessment Program
Biological Assessment Protocol
NDWQ Monitoring Council
Watershed Boundary Dataset
Total Suspended Solids
Water Quality Monitoring
Typically, surface water samples are taken for the following variables: total suspended solids, dissolved
oxygen, nitrates, phosphorus and fecal coliform bacteria. One variable that is becoming more widely used is
biological indicators. Biological indicators are the animals and plant life that inhabit a particular
surface water. Additional variables may be examined if they are thought to be present or cause a problem.
Once samples are taken and have been analyzed by a laboratory, the results must be interpreted. Results are
compared to the State Water Quality Standards, and individual stream characteristics are taken into
consideration. Reports generated from sampling results will list suspected causes of and solutions for
excess pollutants that may be found.
Reports can be found here: Lake Water Quality Assessments or by using the interactive map below.
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