Water Monitoring

Data Logger Downloading Instruction Field Guide for Volunteers

Data logger Download field guide Directions for using the 4.0.2 software for volunteers

Indiana County Water Quality Monitoring Initiative 2011 to present

What we are doing?

Evergreen Conservancy will position water-quality equipment capable of recording specific conductance in key streams. In a nutshell, we are applying new technology – Solinst Leveloggers – to take baseline water quality data in stream throughout Indiana County. These devices allow us to profile our streams – what is flowing through them, how they change over seasons and time, and any sources of pollution that may need to be addressed.

Our Project Goals are to:

  1. Provide continuous water-quality information for headwater watersheds in the Allegheny River Basin and Indiana and Armstrong Counties to protect against spills, leaks, accidents, holding pond failures and/or contaminated nonpoint-source runoff. Covering headwater streams in the Allegheny River Basin where nonpoint pollution is occurring or is anticipated will be a priority.
  2. Provide accurate, quality-assured water-quality data for the public over the World Wide Web.
  3. Develop an early warning system for priority, high quality, and other important water sheds in the Allegheny River Basin, in and around Indiana County. If pollution is prevented from becoming larger problems we will avoid additional and larger costs in the future when damage could increase and become extensive. We will be able to quantify needs if the water quality changes.
  4. Protect the waters from non AMD sources of pollution like spills, leaks, accidents, or extreme weather events which could result in nonpoint-source contamination reaching a stream. Data will be continuous and reliable. Having a time-series history of a pollution event could assist in determining the location and timing of the problem, thereby helping to establish the source and the responsible party.
  5. Provide training in aquatic chemistry and environmental monitoring for students.
  6. Preserve Pennsylvania’s natural resources and landscapes.

Data will usually be recorded every 30 minutes by the data loggers installed in the streams. The data would be downloaded manually and/or transmitted to a centrally located computer a minimum of twice a month. Computerized and manual checks of the data would identify values exceeding certain pre-designated threshold limits. DEP, local authorities and other interested parties will be alerted if thresholds were exceeded. Volunteers will download data, service the equipment and check the data for accuracy.



Partners and Supporters

  • The local chapters of PA Senior Environmental Corp volunteer man hours for field work in this project and supporting this project.
  • Our local Trout Unlimited donated a data logger and will be helping with volunteer man hours.
  • Western PA Conservancy supports  Evergreen Conservancy with datalogger and expertise.
  • The Central Indiana County Water Authority supported Evergreen with funding for several  units for installation in water ways.
  • The Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) are partners in in developing a web site for information from our data loggers, research on streams and we are an intern site for students.
  • The Indiana County Conservation District (ICCD) supports us with technical support and hands-on work in the watershed as well as through an OSM VISTA volunteer working with us on this project.
  • The Kiski-Conamaugh Stream Team and the USGS supported us with technical information to start our water monitoring project.
  • Many, many dedicated volunteers!

Telemetry Water Monitoring Program 2013 to Present

In 2013 Evergreen partnered with Indiana County Emergency Management (EM) on an innovative and creative approach to water monitoring. Evergreen was awarded a grant to install 5 telemetry sites which were decided on in conjunction with EM to protect creek bridge crossings where there might be accidents. The data is fed to a web  site 24/7 and available for viewing at all times. These systems will alert EM of any pollution to the water with a raise in Ph or conductivity.  Evergreen volunteers did the original installations and have been doing maintenance and calibrations since the original sites were set up. It was a learning curve to figure out how to make them all work with the cellular limitations and solar energy in western PA’s hills and valleys! But they are up and running. Periodically there are glitches we have to figure out how to fix and but the project has been a success.


IMG_0927Laurel Run











How we are doing this?

With a lot of volunteer help from many concerned people!

Grants funding includes:

  • Growning Greener Funds (Department of Environmental Protection)
  • The Colcom Foundation
  • Western PA Conservancy and the Dominion Foundation.

Funded by local groups:

  • The Central Indiana County Water Authority
  • Ken Sink Chapter of Troup Unlimited
  • Western PA Conservancy

How you can help?

  • Become a volunteer to go out in the field and help down load data once or twice a month.
  • Show your support and approval of this project…Become a member of Evergreen Conservancy.
  • Make a donation to Evergreen Conservancy to help fund this project.

The link to our data is http://www.watershed.iup.edu/ It is password protected. Contact us if you would like more information about the data.

Contact us at evergreenconservancy@gmail.com or call 724-349-4333