Recently, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have been working together to create and expand the water-quality monitoring network for the County of Philadelphia. The work entailed the creation of new gaging stations, resurrection of historical gaging stations and/or upgrades of existing gaging stations. This monitoring network is equipped with both water-quantity (water discharge and stage) and water-quality (pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, and in some cases, turbidity) measurement equipment that report data in near real time (within hours).
Two gaging stations in each watershed were strategically positioned to monitor water quantity and quality entering and exiting the City's watersheds. Gaging stations were placed at/near the county border and at the furthest downstream location with no tidal influence. Data from these gaging stations will allow PWD scientists and engineers to monitor spatial and temporal water quality/quantity trends in the City in support of watershed restoration initiatives occurring within the City. In addition, the "color coding" (red, yellow, green) of various water-quality parameters will allow scientists at a glance to monitor the aquatic health of our riverine systems on a daily basis and provide a yearly aquatic health report card to PWD, state, federal, and local watershed groups/agencies. Lastly, these stations will be used as PWD's long-term wet-weather monitoring stations, building upon the extensive period of flow and continuous water-chemistry records.