Stream Chemistry Monitoring Program

In Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is the agency with the primary responsibility for surface water quality monitoring and assessment of the state's surface water resources. The Stream Chemistry Monitoring Program, comprised of several hundred monitoring sites, surveys water quality conditions in all major river basins and physiographic regions throughout Kansas. 

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The program's targeted network design positions stations in a deliberate and strategic manner administered by the Watershed Planning, Monitoring, and Assessment Section. Surface grab water samples are regularly obtained from over 200 monitoring stations on a quarterly basis and analyzed for a suite of physical, organic, inorganic, radionuclide, and bacteriological parameters. The program's database currently comprises over two million analytical records representing nearly 400 active and inactive monitoring locations and more than 100 physicochemical, microbiological, and radiological parameters. For a complete list of parameters, see the Program's Quality Assurance Management Plan.

Currently, the stream chemistry sampling network is comprised of 324 monitoring sites spanning all the major river basins and physiographic regions of Kansas. Of those, 161 permanent sites are sampled on a quarterly basis every year, while the remaining 163 rotational sites are monitored using a four-year rotational approach; i.e., samples are collected quarterly from approximately 25% of these sites each year. The earliest records in KDHE's stream chemistry database date to the late 1960s, and some monitoring sites have a continuous period-of-record extending from that time to the present. This information also has been uploaded to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) STORET database.