Stormwater monitoring is critical for managing pollution and hazards to the population. A good stormwater monitoring plan has a few key elements.
A Strong Sampling Plan
Samples are the backbone of a stormwater monitoring plan. They are the starting point for any analysis you will do, and the quality of samples will affect the quality of your data. So, keep in mind the following points when choosing your sampling plan:
1. Include random and planned samples. Sample sites that are planned are usually at locations that are most likely to suffer from pollution. You want to collect samples from these sites each time you sample, because they are the most critical parts of your monitoring process.
However, you can't just assume that because there is no pollution at what you think are the most important spots, that there is no pollution within the system. It could be that you are missing a key source of pollution. That is why random sampling also plays a role in stormwater monitoring.
2. Choose the right timing. You will have a few elements to consider with stormwater monitoring frequency. The samples may be taken at regular intervals, even when there is no triggering event. Certain events could trigger an additional sample, such as a heavy rainfall or a local environmental pollution incident.
3. Look for the right things. Another key ingredient to good stormwater monitoring is to identify your threats and make sure they are being tested for. This can be a balancing act, as certain pollutants are easier to test for than others. You will have to work with your stormwater monitoring associate to balance the costs, so that you can both test often and thoroughly. It may be that you only test for certain substances every other time, or on a monthly basis, or so forth. Your stormwater monitoring team will also be invaluable in identifying which substances are important to test for locally.
4. Ensure valid data. Validating test results will largely be up to your stormwater monitoring team, but it will include things like using high quality equipment, providing ongoing training, keeping track of trends in the data, and cross checking results with reference values.
A stormwater monitoring specialist from companies like Water Watch Pro can help you set up a plan that includes these elements and others. Remember that constantly evaluating and validating your results will lead to a better outcome than setting up your plan and assuming it's working. So, think of your stormwater monitoring consultant as a partner in ensuring that pollution is kept to a minimum.