DEEP: Water Quality Monitoring Program

Water Monitoring Program
The CT DEEP Water Monitoring Program conducts ambient monitoring and the related assessment of the State’s waters. 
Ambient monitoring is the acquisition of data to characterize the physical, chemical or biological integrity of Connecticut’s surface waters and was conducted to meet the following objectives: 
  • Evaluation of pollution control program effectiveness 
  • Baseline characterization and identification of reference conditions of state’s waters 
  • Assessment of water quality trends 
  • Evaluation of ecological damage due to episodic pollution events 
  • Identification of existing and emerging pollution problems
  • Investigation of nuisance complaints 
  • Meet reporting commitments required by State and Federal regulations.
{DEEP staff collect a water chemistry sample from a lake.} {No Swimming}
Connecticut is fortunate to have diverse water resources that include rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes, estuaries, and Long Island Sound. In order to monitor the quality and health of these resources, the Water Monitoring and Assessment Program supports five ongoing, statewide monitoring programs: bacteria monitoring at State-owned bathing beaches, lake water quality monitoring, river/stream water quality monitoring, Long Island Sound water quality monitoring, and volunteer or citizen-science based water quality monitoring.  Through these projects Water Monitoring and Assessment Program staff collect a wide variety and large quantity of data, including water column chemistry data, water temperature data, biological community data (e.g. fish, macroinvertebrates, periphyton), indicator bacteria data, and tissue contaminant data.  
  {A brown trout is measured by DEEP staff.} {A Giant Stonefly (Pteronarcys sp.) on a leaf. Photo courtesy of Pete Zaidel, former CT DEEP intern.}
The Water Monitoring Program coordinates and supports a variety of statewide water quality projects.  In addition, the Program plays a critical role in insuring the State meets federal obligations to document the condition of the aquatic resources of the state.  Under the Federal Clean Water Act, every two years states are required to assess their aquatic resources and report on their status to US EPA. This is accomplished by having a series of designated uses including aquatic life, recreation, fish consumption, and others. This requirement sets in motion a continuous cycle where DEEP must acquire data, review data, and provide an assessment of these data on a biennial basis through the Integrated Water Quality Report.
{CT DEEP} {DEEP staff collect a water chemistry sample from a stormwater outfall.}

More details on activities supported by DEEP's Water Monitoring Program can be found by selecting from the links below.

{A cyanobacteria bloom occurred on Pond Brook in Newtown during July 2016.} {The Mill River}


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Further Information
For questions or additional information please contact:
Chris Bellucci
Monitoring Program Supervisor
Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street, Hartford CT 06106
Content last updated September 2019.