Water Quality Monitoring
Four times per year, MWA River Watchers check the health of the stream by monitoring water quality at 7 locations along the Musconetcong River:
1. Willow Street in Port Morris section of Roxbury Township
2. Hackettstown, on Route 57
3. Point Mountain Preserve
4. Mt. Joy Road, in Finesville
The MWA River Watchers measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, acidity (pH) and nitrate levels at each site.
Volunteers also assess water and habitat quality by collecting insects, mollusks and crustaceans that inhabit the stream bottom. These tiny organisms, called benthic macroinvertebrates, form the bottom of the food chain in streams and are sensitive to changes in their environment. When streams are clean and have good habitat, there is a rich diversity of these organisms living there.
The MWA uses River Watcher data to develop information that helps:
Ensure water quality in the Musconetcong River remains suitable for recreational uses such as fishing, swimming, and boating.
Advocate for the River when proposed projects threaten the health of the river and its tributaries.
Observe how stream restoration projects, such as stream bank stabilization, riparian restoration and dam removals, improve river habitat.
Track how preservation of land, improved development controls and pollution prevention programs all keep the river ecosystem healthy.