A major effort underway by the Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program is to continuously monitor water quality at selected locations in the Susquehanna River. Little is known about the water chemistry of the river and how it relates to land use, discharges, and seasonal changes in aquatic plant growth and nutrient loads.

In 2009, we partnered with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) to configure and install two YSI 6600 water quality sondes and telemetry data logger systems at water treatment plants on the West Branch near Milton and on the North Branch near Danville. The instruments record fluctuations in water quality at 15-minute intervals and are part of the SRBC's "Early Warning System" a network of water quality sondes deployed through the river basin to alert them of any abrupt change in public drinking water supplies.

Each sonde is equipped with five interchangeable sensors which measure water depth, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, oxidation-reduction potential, and chlorophyl. They receive monthly maintenance and calibration to ensure accurate data.

The water quality program also has uses several "roving" sondes which we deploy at other locations in the watershed. During the summer of 2009, two sondes were deployed for several months below Sunbury and documented that even below the confluence the waters from the North and West branches do not mix.

Preliminary results of the river water quality network have been presented at the annual meeting of the North American Benthological Society and the American Society of Civil Engineers' Hydraulic Measurement and Experimental Methods Conference.

Real-Time Data Feeds

You can view real-time feeds of the river sonde data in two ways:

  • "portfolio" view, which shows trends in all the water quality parameters (on right)
  • "time series" view, which shows temporal variations in the min, max, and average values of 2 or more selected water quality parameters (below).
  • Time-Series View of Selected WQ Data

    Real-time time series of water quality readings at Milton or Danville monitoring stations. The shaded areas around each line indicate the range (min and max) in readings for that day. As you move your cursor over the lines, the actual values are displayed in the upper right hand portion of the window. You can select various time periods or simply drag your mouse over the graph to "zoom" into a selected window of time.

    Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program

    Watershed Tools

    The Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program at Bucknell University seeks to achieve national distinction for excellence in education and scholarship in science and engineering by incorporating the Susquehanna River watershed as a teaching and research laboratory.

    Since 2006, it has been integrating water and the river into the curriculum and across academic disciplines in ways that enrich Bucknell's intellectual environment, promote sustainability and watershed stewardship, and enable the university to act as a catalyst for environmental and cultural progress in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

    For more information, please contact benjamin.hayes@bucknell.edu.

    Celebrating 10 Years of River Symposiums

    2015 River Symposium

    10th Annual River Symposium

    The River, Its Landscapes
    and Our Lives

    Ongoing Projects and Research in the Susquehanna Watershed

    November 13 -14, 2015

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    2014 River Symposium

    9th Annual River Symposium

    Science and the River

    Ongoing Projects and Research in the Susquehanna Watershed

    November 21 -22, 2014

    Read More
    2013 River Symposium

    8th Annual River Symposium

    A Fragmented System

    Dams on the Susquehanna River

    October 18-19, 2013

    Read More
    2012 River Symposium

    7th Annual River Symposium

    Wasn't That A Mighty Storm!

    Flooding in the Susquehanna Watershed

    October 12-13, 2012

    Read More
    2011 River Symposium

    6th Annual River Symposium

    River Towns in the 21st Century

    Supporting local development in the Susquehanna Valley by recognizing regional community assets

    October 14-15, 2011

    Read More
    2010 River Symposium

    5th Annual River Symposium

    Exploring Our Vital Resource

    River Ecological Health
    and the Chesapeake Bay

    October 22-23, 2010

    Read More
    2009 River Symposium

    4th Annual River Symposium

    Cultures at the Confluence

    Native Americans, Ecology, and the Susquehanna Valley

    September 26, 2009

    Read More
    2008 River Symposium

    3rd Annual River Symposium

    The Susquehanna and Agriculture

    Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce sediment and nutrient loading to the Chesapeake Bay

    September 12 & 13, 2008

    Read More
    2007 River Symposium

    2nd Annual River Symposium

    Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Drainage Remediation

    Seeking Common Ground Along the Susquehanna

    September 28, 2007

    Read More
    2006 River Symposium

    1st Annual River Symposium

    From the Branches to the Confluence

    The Upper Susquehanna River Basin and its Communities

    September 23, 2006

    Read More

    Mailing Address

    Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program

    Center for Sustainability and the Environment
    Bucknell University
    One Dent Drive
    Lewisburg, PA 17837


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