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The IDEM Watershed Assessment and Planning Branch conducts sampling in rivers, streams and lakes and analyzes those samples to assess the status of water quality across the state. This work is done according to the Indiana Surface Water Quality Monitoring Strategy [PDF], which guides and prioritizes the type of monitoring programs IDEM must do to meet Clean Water Act (and Safe Drinking Water Act?) requirements. IDEM also participates annually, either directly or through U.S. EPA support, in the National Water Quality Assessment program where a portion of Indiana’s surface waters are sampled to include in a national overview of water quality.
Under the Indiana Surface Water Quality Monitoring Strategy, staff collect water chemistry, E. coli, fish, macroinvertebrate, aquatic habitat and algae data. The data are analyzed and used for statewide and watershed specific surface water-related assessments, development of the Integrated Report, and planning and restoration projects. The data collected and assessed by staff also supports water quality standards development, NPDES permitting and compliance activities, public health advisories, such as for fish consumption and blue-green algae, volunteer monitoring efforts through the Hoosier Riverwatch and Clean Lakes Programs, and the IndianaMap.
Each year staff prepare for the coming seasons of field work by preparing workplans that describe the activities, what parameters/pollutants that will be sampled and tested, when and where these activities will take place, and for what programs. Below is a list of workplans that were developed for this last monitoring season as well as one for this next season. As new work plans are generated they will be added for each upcoming monitoring season.