Water Quality Monitoring:Horiba U50

One of the core activities of Maroochy Waterwatch is the collection of water quality data.  This is undertaken on both commercial and community based approaches.

Our commercial service offers a full quality assurance and quality control procedure and adherence to chain of custody specifications.  Timely and detailed reports can be compiled dependent of client needs.

Our community based monitoring consists of a total of 60 families carry out voluntary testing at 145 sites on a monthly basis using a Horiba U-52 multi-probe analyser.  Monitors measure and record a number of physical and chemical parameters that are indicators of the waterways’ health.  Maroochy Waterwatch is committed to obtaining high quality assurance with water quality test results.  Water quality monitors are given extensive training in testing and reporting procedures while a rigorous quality assurance process has been developed in conjunction with the Department of Environmental and Resource Management (DERM.)  Maroochy Waterwatch leads the way in quality assurance for community water quality data.  Water testing kits are calibrated regularly and calibration logs are maintained.  Other water quality testing is carried out in accordance with DERM standards.

  • Level 1 Water Quality Testing:

    The level 1 parameters measured on a monthly basis by community monitors are pH, Conductivity, Salinity, Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature.  Some streams are tested monthly for nutrients, nitrate and orthophosphates depending on funding.  This data gives the basic understanding of the water quality at a particular site over time.  The high quality of data collected is recognised and used by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, SEQ Catchments, Bureau of Meterology and the Department of Environment and Resources Management.

    There is tremendous benefit in having members of the community collecting water quality data and making observations of the waterways in their own local area.  This process connects the community with their local stream which often runs through the water monitor’s property and enables a huge amount of data to be collected that would be beyond the resources and access of the governmental agencies.

    When abnormal results are detected, the appropriate authorities are notified so remedial action can be taken.  In this way the work we do has a direct benefit to the whole community living or recreating in the Maroochy River Catchment.

  • Level 2 Water Quality Testing:

    When necessary, streams are also tested for level 2 parameters including nitrate and orthophosphates or other analyses as required.

  • Macro-invertebrate Testing:

    Macro-invertebrate testing is not carried out routinely however we use this method to educate school children on excursions.

  • Event Monitoring:

    Maroochy Waterwatch was a member of the South East Queensland event monitoring progam in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and SEQ Catchments. Five sites were monitored during rain events with the load data being analysed by DERM.   This monitoring has been finalised and a report available from Healthy Waterways.    Maroochy Waterwatch has recently been contracted by Sunshine Coast Council to conduct event based water quality assessments at several sites at a  landfill site.

  • On-farm Monitoring:

    Historically we have undertaken on-farm water monitoring. This was in collaboration with the Sunshine Coast Fruitgrowers Association.  This project aided the the farmers to develop environmental management systems to decrease the silt and nutrient loads entering the waterways from farms.

  • Groundwater Monitoring:

    Groundwater has long been the “unknown quantity” in the Maroochy River catchment due to little or no licensing requirements.  Historically we have monitored bores in the Eudlo sub-catchment. This program ceased once we had an understanding of recharge times.

Current Clients:

  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • SEQ Catchments
  • Dept of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Bunya Bunya Aboriginal Corporation

Past Clients:

  • Sunshine Coast Fruitgrowers Association
  • 5D Studios