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REP Monitoring Parameters

The REP assesses surface water quality in three main categories: chemical, biological, and physical.  Examples of what students monitor are below.

REP Monitoring Parameters-Chemical - FM Steppingstone Shiawassee 22


  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Fecal coliform (E. coli)
  • pH
  • Biochemical oxygen demand
  • Change in temperature
  • Total phosphate
  • Nitrates
  • Turbidity
  • Total solids

REP Monitoring Parameters Biological - two volunteers collecting water specimens


  • Students and teachers will conduct their very own “bug hunt,” sampling for aquatic organisms such as aquatic insect larvae, clams, snails, and crayfish.
  • Organisms are categorized according to pollution tolerance, and are identified and counted to determine an overall water quality score.

REP Biological Parameters Physical - students in water collecting samples


  • Weather conditions
  • Air & water temperature
  • Local land use
  • Riparian vegetation
  • Bank erosion & stability
  • Habitat & substrate
  • Water odor & appearance
  • Stream characteristics
  • Overall physical conditions of the river
  • Calculate stream discharge
  • General observations
    • Fish & wildlife
    • Cleanliness
    • How has the landscape changed from last year?
  • Reflect on how physical conditions could be improved at the site