Bayou Teche Water Sentinals produce really good data
Bayou Teche Water Sentinals have been sampling for more than three years since May of 2010. Results of the sampling are shown in the graph that accompanies this article. The graph is adjusted to show trends. The data shows that dissolved oxygen (DO, the green line) in Bayou Teche goes down as water temperature (the red line). Colder temperatures cause the water to hold more oxygen, and warmer summertime temperatures along with organic activity in the watershed tend to deplete the oxygen. DO is good for fish and the aquatic organisms they feed on.
Another noticeable trend is that Conductivity (related to salinity, the blue line) goes up as temperature goes up. And if you look closely you can also see that Nitrate (blue green line) increases as temperature goes up. increased Nitrate in the watershed may come from agricultural activity and residential lawns in the watershed where residents apply fertilizers. Those nitrates can make their way down the bayou and add to the problem of the "Dead Zone" in the Gulf.
In general the data taken by our volunteer water sample teams shows good consistency and correlate well with trends that we would expect to see in a narrow watershed bounded by agricultural lands and residential homes. The volunteers in the Bayou Teche Water Sentinals program have decided they want to start sampling for fecal coliform. This will be a direct indicator of sewage discharges into the bayou. We are looking for funding support to make this happen.
If you think you might be interested in participating on a sampling team you could send a message to me at firstname.lastname@example.org All interested persons are welcome to learn about natural water characteristics and to participate in the sampling.