Big Eau Pleine River (1427200) Volunteer Monitoring


The Big Eau Pleine Flowage is listed on the Federal 303 (d) list for violations of the State dissolved oxygen and pH water quality standards. The Big Eau Pleine River is also on the list for dissolved oxygen levels below the water quality standard. Both listings are a result of excessive nutrient loading, primarily phosphorus, to the river and flowage. The Department is scheduled to conduct a multi-year water quality study starting in 2009 to develop a TMDL for the river and flowage. The study will be completed in conjunction with Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company’s (WVIC) three year flowage monitoring plan mandated in their FERC license. WVIC will begin their flowage monitoring in 2010 and continue through 2012. The Big Eau Pleine River at STH 97 has been sampled monthly for nutrients and solids since 2005 as part of baseline Tier I wadable stream monitoring and special project 303 d monitoring. WCR would like to continue monthly sampling during the next fiscal year to provide four consecutive years of loading data from the Big Eau Pleine River at STH 97. TMDL monitoring will begin in 2009 which will continue the loading study and collect additional information about in-lake water quality. Many TMDLs developed for impoundments use one or two years of loading data due to funding and time constraints. Sediment and nutrient loading can be highly variable between years which decrease the reliability of water quality models. A larger data set will greatly increase the accuracy of future water quality models by accounting for variability between multiple years. This project would provide funding for water chemistry analysis at the SLOH and travel expenses for a volunteer monitor.


The objective of this project is to provide multiple years of sediment and nutrient data to be used in eventula development of a TMDL for the BEP watershed. The data will be collected over multiple years by combining monitoring efforts of WVIC, a volunteer monitor and DNR. Specifically, the project will provide multiple years of monthly tributary monitoring along with streamflow (already monitored by USGS) to provide more accurate loading estimates from the watershed. The project request will be used to pay the cost of sample analysis, postage and volunteer travel. This project was funded for FY08 and was planned to be a two year study. Therefore, project approval for FY09 is needed to complete the study as planned.


The Department would like to obtain funding for a second year of water chemistry analysis at the SLOH and travel expenses for a volunteer monitor. A volunteer has collected monthly samples since July 2007 and the continuation of monthly sampling through June 2009 will provide mulitple years of loading data to the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir. Monthly water chemistry samples will be analyzed for suspended solids, total phosphorus and dissolved phosphorus. In addition to the water chemistry samples, field parameters of dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH and turbidity tube measurements will be collected during each visit.

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