Tools to monitor the biological integrity and water quality of our creeks applied over the past decade can help identify high value streams for protection and potential areas for enhancement or restoration. CCCWP deploys three types of monitoring tools to assess creek health:

  • Bioassessment: Counting the abundance of different types of invertebrates and algae found in the stream bed. Abundance and variety of aquatic plants, insects, worms, crustaceans, etc. indicates the long-term exposure of those communities to pollutants and physical stressors. For example, only a few pollutant-tolerant species may indicate poor creek health, while a variety of species, including pollutant-sensitive indicators, may indicate better health.
  • Physical Habitat Assessment: Evaluating a stream reach for important physical habitat properties such as channel geometry, flow, the nature of the bottom (i.e. silty, sandy, or cobbles present). These factors can be as important as pollutant impacts on the health of stream biological health.
  • Continuous Water Quality Monitoring: Deploying measuring devices that record and transmit measurements of temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, turbidity (water clarity), and water levels. These are powerful tools that can help track important water quality metrics that can change, either because of natural cycles and events or human causes.

Key Documents:

Monitoring Procedures are documented in a Quality Assurance Project Plan developed in collaboration with other Bay Area municipal stormwater programs. CCCWP documents creek status monitoring and assessment results in annual Urban Creeks Monitoring Reports, and once per permit term in Integrated Monitoring Reports: