A primary goal of the Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition is for waterways to achieve aquatic life goals of the Clean Water Act. To ensure we accurately identify the stressors to aquatic life, we rely on comprehensive data collection and analyses. In addition to water column and sediment chemistry data, our monitoring program includes fish, macroinvertebrates and physical habitat.
Our data, along with data from historical monitoring sites, wastewater treatment plants and dissolved oxygen probes, undergo stringent analyses to provide an overall assessment of the watershed and to help identify stressors to biological health.
The Coalition will carry out its monitoring program once every three years to track the health of the watershed and assess the success of water quality improvement projects. In 2012, the Coalition surveyed 26 sites in the mainstem DuPage River and six tributaries. In 2015, the Coalition surveyed 41 sites; plans for the 2018 monitoring season include 41 sites.
The results of the 2012 study are published in the 2012 Biological and Water Quality Study of the Lower DuPage River Watershed. The 2015 study is under review.
The Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition coordinates a Continuous Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Monitoring program at eight sites along the mainstem DuPage River. DO probes are deployed in-stream throughout the summer to measure dissolved oxygen, water temperature, conductivity and pH at 15 minute intervals. This data is used to identify stressors to aquatic life, track attainment of water quality standards and provide input for future water quality models. The City of Naperville, Village of Plainfield and City of Joliet own DO probes and the Villages of Shorewood, Minooka and Channahon each oversee a DO probe owned by the Coalition.