This webpage is devoted to our Stream Monitoring Program, which is being developed under the leadership of QWA Board Member Dr. J. Kent Crawford.  A work in progress, the page so far consists of three parts: 

1.  Summary of Monitoring Program

2.  Volunteer Monitoring Team & Map of the Six Monitoring Stations

3.  Data Collections

1.  Summary of Monitoring Program

   The basic idea behind our monitoring program is to assess the extent to which the restoration work undertaken in the watershed is having its intended effects.  Is the amount of sediment and silt being flushed downstream really declining?  Are the macroinvertertebrates doing better after the restoration work has been completed?  Is the water in the watershed really getting cleaner?

   The long version of our monitoring program is detailed in our Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) of August 2018, housed on the Studies & Documents page of this website. The relevant excerpt is here.  Since then, due to lack of funding, we've had to scale things back while still undertaking a viable program that gets us the data we need.  The revised monitoring program, as detailed in a memorandum of 7 January 2020, is here.
   The short version of where things stand now is aptly expressed by QWA Monitoring Coordinator Dr. J. Kent Crawford in an email to Michael (Josh) Lookenbill, Biologist and Monitoring Section Chief of PA-DEP dated 24 January, 2020:

   "We have had to alter our plans significantly . . .  and will execute the program using our own volunteer monitors. We have a plan to monitor:

     1.  Geomorphic status
     2.  Habitat conditions
     3.  Invertebrate communities
     4.  Water quality

   "We will cover these components using volunteer monitors, college student interns, and the services of Dr. Rebecca Urban and her students at Lebanon Valley College. . . . Under the previous monitoring plan, PA-DEP had agreed to provide laboratory services valued at $20,000 and streamflow monitoring equipment valued at $9,000. . . . The revised scope of the monitoring effort still requires DEP support for its implementation.  We will rely on the DEP lab for our water-quality analyses.  However, we no longer need the streamflow monitoring equipment.  We have secured funding from the Lebanon County Stormwater Consortium to purchase the equipment we need.  However, we are in need of two or three multi-parameter water-quality sondes to support our water-quality sampling. We need these instruments to measure four parameters; 

     1.  pH
     2.  Specific conductance
     3.  Dissolved oxygen
     4.  Temperature.

   "A fifth parameter, turbidity, would be nice, but not required."

   There's much more that might be said, but that's the gist of it. 

   For the much longer version, see Dustin Shull and Josh Lookenbill, eds., "Water Quality Monitoring Protocols for Streams and Rivers, 2018," Office of Water Programs, Bureau of Clean Water, PA Department of Environmental Protection, 11th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105.  PDF file, 5 MB, 415 pages.

   Another valuable monitoring resource, published in Sept. 2021, is the Stories in Water Data StoryMap, created by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.  The StoryMap covers the entire Susquehanna watershed, but one can also zero in on data for the Swatara Creek watershed, into which the Quittapahilla watershed flows.  Data for the Swatara Creek watershed can be here:

QWA Training Videos for Volunteer Monitors

    Streamflow Monitoring Training on YouTube.   On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Kent delivered a 36-minute instructional seminar on the physics & hydrodynamics of streamflow and water quality monitoring.  The seminar was recorded on Zoom and is available to view on YouTube, here:    Then, On Monday, August 8, 2022, he offered a slightly updated version of the same presentation, this one 33 minutes long and also accessible on YouTube, here:

   Water Quality Monitoring Training on YouTube.  In this 80-minute water quality monitoring training video, recorded Wed. Aug. 31, 2022, Mark Hoger, Water Program Specialist with PA-DEP, offered detailed description of how to collect and process samples collected from local waterways and send them to the lab for analysis:


2.  Volunteer Team & Locations of the Six Monitoring Stations

   Our six monitoring stations and current list of volunteer monitors appear below.

   The Six Monitoring Stations:

        1).  S1:     Snitz Creek at Walnut Street
        2).  BK1:   Beck Creek at Bricker Lane
        3).  BM1:  Bachman Run at Louser Road
        4).  K1:     Killinger Creek at Killinger Road
        5).  Q1:    Quittapahilla Creek at Garfield Street
        6).  Q2:    Quittapahilla Creek at Palmyra-Bellegrove Road

    Map of the Six Monitoring Stations:


   Aerial Images of the Six Monitoring Stations & Macroinvertibrate Sampling Reaches

Aerial images of these six monitoring stations and the associated reaches for macroinvertibrate sampling, with roads and other landmarks indicated, appear on the images below.  Click on the thumbnail to view the larger image:

Station BK1 Station BM1 Station K1 Station Q1 Station Q2 Station S1

   Volunteer Monitors:

       • Howard "Willie" Bixler
       • J. Kent Crawford

       Russ Collins

       Bob Connell

       • Joseph Connor
       • David Etheridge

       • Katie Hollen (LCCD)

        Dale Mackley
       • Trip McGarvey

       • Sophia Rosenberg
       • Michael Schroeder
       • Stephan Vegoe
       • Chad Weber

       • Gary Zelinske

   Monitoring Program Leadership:

      As of August 31, 2023, Kent Crawford has stepped down from his role as Chief Coordinator of our Monitoring Program.  Consensus has emerged on the QWA Board that in order for our Monitoring Program to continue, we will need to identify individuals willing to assume four main leadership positions as Team Leaders:


1.  Data Manager to manage and store the mountains of data we expect to be collecting.

2.  Communications Manager to communicate among fellow volunteers and with the wider public. QWA President Michael Schroeder has agreed to fill this position.

3.  Fieldwork Coordinator to coordinate our fieldwork efforts, as Kent has done so effectivly through Aug. 31, 2023.   Katie Hollen of the Lebanon County Conservation District has agreed to serve as Fieldwork Coordinator for our October 2023 water sampling efforts.

4.  Equipment Manager to coordinate with LVC and others to manage the needed monitoring equipment.


3.  Data Collections

   We are just starting to collect and manage the data derived from our monitoring efforts.  Indeed, we see data management as one of the principal challenges of our Monitoring Program (see the envisioned position of "Data Manager" in the list immediately above).

   Right now we have only a small amount of data collected and ready to present here. On August 14 and 15, 2023, volunteers collected water samples at our six monitoring sites and took them to the PA-DEP's laboratory in Harrisburg, where they were tested for a wide range of elements and compounds.  Five of those test results appear below; the sixth is forthcoming.  As expected, the test results show high concentrations of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus.  Happily, the samples show low concentrations of heavy metals.  Links are to small PDF files (>1MB).

BK1:  Beck Creek at Bricker Lane
BM1:  Bachman Run at Louser Road
K1:  Killinger Creek at Killinger Road
Q1:  Quittapahilla Creek at Garfield St.
Q2:  Quittapahilla Creek at Palmyra-Bellegrove Road

    Meantime, while we await the collection and posting of water quality data, we post here our Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for the Quittapahilla Watershed Water-Quality Monitoring Program, draft of August 1, 2020, by QWA Board Member J. Kent Crawford, Ph.D.(PDF file, 37 pgs., 1 MB).





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