Water Quality Monitoring

  • volunteers honey creek flow volunteers honey creek flow Volunteers measuring flow in Honey Creek, a tributary of the Huron River.
  • Flow Measurements Flow Measurements HRWC volunteers take flow measurements in a very similar manner to the method used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  • volunteers monitoring allens creek volunteers monitoring allens creek Volunteers Magda H and Mike C grab a bucket sample from Allens Creek for the Middle Huron Monitoring Program
  • Volunteer Tom W, ready for sampling Volunteer Tom W, ready for sampling Volunteer Tom W, ready for sampling
  • Taking water quality measures Taking water quality measures Volunteers taking water quality measures
  • Volunteer measuring flow in Wayne County Volunteer measuring flow in Wayne County Volunteer measuring flow in Wayne County
  • Jeff and Nate sampling Woods Creek Jeff and Nate sampling Woods Creek Jeff and Nate sampling Woods Creek
  • Volunteer Howard B, having fun Volunteer Howard B, having fun Volunteer Howard B, taking a break from sampling

Go here for Volunteer Resources

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This web page provides resources for monitoring volunteers and current monitoring results. The Water Quality Monitoring Program is conducted for the partners in the Middle Huron Initiative (MHI), Livingston Watershed Advisory Group (WAG) and the Alliance of Downriver Watersheds (ADW) to better understand nutrient and contaminant loading dynamics in the Huron River Watershed. The program also aims to identify pollutant loading hot spots and evaluate collective progress of best management practices designed to minimize stormwater-related impairments.  Overall, the program’s long-term goal is to evaluate progress toward improving overall water quality within the Huron River Watershed.

Value of the Program

The Water Quality Monitoring Program was developed in response to community interest in increasing the data available on nutrient contributions to the Huron River and its lakes and tributaries.  The data are intended to lead to a better understanding of pollution contributions from non-point and stormwater sources  in subdrainages of the watershed. An improved understanding of sources will help the community partners in the MHI, Livingston WAG and ADW to focus and track pollution reduction efforts as they strive to meet pollution limits in Ford, Belleville, Strawberry, Brighton, and Ore lakes, as well as bacteria limits for sections of the river and Honey Creek. The Monitoring Program is designed to complement  monitoring conducted by municipalities, universities, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and others. The sites are sampled for nutrients, bacteria and background chemistry twice monthly from April to September. Data are collected from stream locations that facilitate the establishment of relationships between land cover and ecological stream health.

Monitoring Sites


The Program began with monitoring in the Middle Huron as a 2002 field season pilot, during which only six sites and four months were studied. In 2003, four additional sites were added to the program and all ten sites were studied for five months. In 2007, storm events were targeted at four sites (Allens, Traver, Malletts and Swift Run), where fixed water level sensors were established. This was done to provide additional data on nutrient conditions during high-flow events. At the end of 2008, two additional sites were added in Livingston County to provide an upstream comparison with another nutrient-enriched watershed. With the addition of grants from MDEQ, more frequent site visits and storm monitoring were added, as well as sampling of “investigative” sites to identify potential pollutant hot spots. Storm monitoring is being conducted thanks to the donation of an autosampler by the City of Ann Arbor.

The Program expanded throughout the Chain of Lakes area (Livingston County) in August 2010, during which 8 sites were added. Storm monitoring is being conducted thanks to the donation of an autosampler by the Livingston County Drain Commissioner’s Office.  The program continues with funding from the Livingston WAG. In 2012, the Program is expanding to the ADW in Wayne County, with assistance from Wayne County environmental staff and direct funding from the ADW.

Monitoring Program Partners

Realization of the Monitoring Program requires ample resources, from providing volunteer training and coordination to analyzing water samples and entering and interpreting the results. Many friends of the Huron River dedicated their time, expertise and equipment to the project. The Program team is grateful for the generous contributions from the following partners who enabled the continuation and growth of this important research and stewardship program.

  • City of Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant provided analysis of all water samples for the Middle Huron.
  • City of Brighton Wastewater Treatment Plant provided analysis of all water samples for the Huron Chain of Lakes.
  • Livingston County Drain Commissioner’s Office provided field equipment.
  • University of Michigan, Occupational Safety and Environmental Health Department provided sample containers through 2005.
  • The Huron River Watershed Council, Adopt-A-Stream program loaned the Marsh McBirney Flo-Mate Portable Flowmeter Model 2000 and other field equipment.
  • Ypsilanti Community Utility Authority is providing analysis of water samples from ADW sites.

Data and Reports

The most recent monitoring reports were compiled for data through the 2011 season. Reports were developed separately for the Middle Huron and Chain of Lakes subwatersheds. The reports include comprehensive analysis of all monitoring results through the most recent season.

Current Reports & Presentations

2015 Volunteer Presentation (includes results from other HRWC volunteer programs)

2014 Volunteer Presentation

2013 Middle Huron Monitoring Report

2013 ADW Monitoring Report

Past Reports

2012 Middle Huron Monitoring Report

2012 ADW Monitoring Report

2012 Huron Chain of Lakes Monitoring Report

2011 ADW Monitoring Report

2011 Huron Chain of Lakes Monitoring Report

2011 Middle Huron Monitoring Report

2002-2007 Stream Monitoring Report

Current Year Raw Data

As 2016 raw lab results are received monthly, they will be posted below.

Middle Huron ADW
April 2016 Lab Results April 2016 HRWC-ADW
May 2016 Lab Results May 2016 HRWC-ADW
June 2016 Lab Results June 2016 HRWC-ADW
July 2016 Lab Results July 2016 HRWC-ADW
August 2016 Lab Results August 2016 HRWC-ADW
September 2016 Lab Results September 2016 HRWC-ADW


The Water Quality Monitoring Program is currently funded by local government agencies working together towards watershed management through the MHI, Livingston WAG and ADW.

It was funded from 2010 through 2011 as part of a TMDL Implementation Planning grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, through MDEQ’s Storm Water Program.

Who is the HRWC contact person for the Water Quality Monitoring Program?

Direct inquiries about the monitoring programs to Ric Lawson at (734) 769-5123 x609 or email: rlawson@hrwc.org.

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