The Anacostia Riverkeeper/FOSC Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring program wrapped up in Sept 2021. In its second year, the program expanded to 3 sites on Sligo Creek and 1 on its Long Branch tributary. The Anacostia Riverkeeper (ARK) program includes a site on Northwest Branch and several other Anacostia watershed sites outside the Sligo watershed, plus the Rock Creek and Potomac river watersheds.
From June through September, volunteers measured water temperature, air temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen at five sites in the Upper Anacostia Watershed, including three sites along Sligo Creek and 1 on Long Branch:
- near the Schuyler Road foot bridge at Sligo Creek Parkway;
- at the Sligo Creek Parkway parking lot just downstream of Wayne Avenue;
- in Takoma Park, at the confluence of Brashears Run and Sligo Creek near Maple Avenue.
- in Takoma Park on Long Branch at Rolling Terrace Elementary school.
Volunteers also collected water samples for further bacterial and turbidity analysis by ARK at its lab.
The FOSC data from the three Sligo Creek monitoring sites and the Long Branch site are shown below and on TheSwimGuide.org at beach/1055, beach/9615, and beach/9616. Biweekly results (see below) for the ARK/FOSC program are prepared by Robbie O’Donnell, Watershed Programs Manager at ARK, and are posted below and on the ARK website.
In brief, the 2021 data indicate that while Sligo Creek is well-oxygenated and the water is clear, its coliform bacteria levels typically do not meet levels deemed safe for contact, and it carries a heavier dissolved ion load (it’s saltier) than we’d like to see in a freshwater stream.
ARK combines the data from the summer Upper Anacostia program with its other area monitoring efforts, providing agencies and administrators with a better picture of the ecological health of the Anacostia, including any trends that appear to be taking shape. The data from all of the Anacostia tributary and main river sites in MD and DC is available on the Anacostia Riverkeeper website.
The FOSC Water Quality Monitoring team is active year round. Please contact Pat Ratkowski at [email protected] to learn more about FOSC’s WQ testing program and how to join the team.
The 2021 Montgomery County Data
The Montgomery County below is posted by date. Data for Prince George’s County was not collected in 2021.
Tables, charts, maps and graphs courtesy of Anacostia Riverkeeper.