Alkalinity - Alkalinity is a measure of the buffering capacity of water, or the capacity of water to resist change in pH.
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) - Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) measures the amount of oxygen consumed by microorganisms in decomposing organic matter in stream water. BOD also measures the chemical oxidation of inorganic matter (i.e., the extraction of oxygen from water via chemical reaction).
Cadmium - Cadmium is a heavy metal that in high enough quantities can cause stress and/or be fatal to aquatic life.
Chlorides - Chlorides can be toxic to aquatic organisms and can affect the taste of food products.
Chlorophyll-a - Chlorophyll-a is a major pigment in algae that may be used to estimate the biomass of algae found in water.
Copper (Cu) - Copper is a metal that in high enough quantities can cause stress and/or be fatal to aquatic life.
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) - Dissolved Oxygen in water is produced by aeration or as a byproduct of the photosynthetic and respiratory activities of the biota in the waterbody. DO is essential for aquatic life.
Dissolved Phosphorus - Dissolved Phosphorus is the soluble form of Phosphorus that is readily available to plants and algae. It is also the form most commonly released from wastewater treatment facilities.
E. coli - Escherichia coli (E. coli) is an indicator of fecal waste from warm-blooded animals. It may also cause illness in people.
Fecal Coliform - Fecal Coliform is an indicator of fecal waste from warm-blooded animals. Fecal coliform may also indicate the potential for pathogens in the water supply.
Mercury in Fish Tissue - Mercury is a neurotoxin that can bioaccumulate in the tissue of fish and pose a risk when consumed by humans.
Nitrate - Nitrate is an inorganic form of oxidized nitrogen resulting from bacterial oxidation of ammonia. Excess levels of nitrate can cause methemoglobinemia or “blue baby” disease.
Nitrite - Nitrite is an intermediate form of Nitrogen formed from Ammonia. Nitrite is often quickly converted to nitrate by nitrifying bacteria.
pH - pH is a measure of hydrogen ions in water that results in acidity or alkalinity. pH can affect many chemical reactions in water.
Salinity/Sodium Absorption Ratio - High concentrations of sodium can render the soil hard and resistant to water penetration and also limit the uptake of water by plant roots.
Selenium - Selenium is an essential trace element for animal nutrition. It can also be toxic to plants, animals and humans at higher concentrations.
Specific Conductance (Conductivity) - Specific Conductance is a measure of the waters ability to conduct an electrical current. It is used as a measure of the dissolved ionic matter in the water. Specific conductance is corrected for temperature.
Sulfur - Sulfur is an important plant nutrient. Sulfates can cause gastrointestinal problems to humans at high concentrations.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) - Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is a measure of salts in water, and can be composed of earth compounds, particularly bicarbonates, carbonates, sulfates and chloride.
Temperature - Water temperature is important for aquatic life and chemical processes in water.
Total Ammonia - Total ammonia, in high concentrations, is toxic to aquatic organisms, including invertebrates and fish.
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) - Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) is the sum of Total Ammonia, organic Nitrogen and reduced Nitrogen.
Total Nitrogen - Total Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the growth of plants and algae. It is the sum of all forms of Nitrogen in the water, which include ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. Total Nitrogen is calculated by summing Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (ammonia, organic and reduced Nitrogen) and nitrate/nitrite. Excess Nitrogen may contribute to algal blooms, excess plant growth, and low dissolved oxygen.
Total Phosphorus - Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for the growth of plants and algae. Total Phosphorus includes dissolved Phosphorus and particulate Phosphorus, which is Phosphorus molecules attached to particulate matter, such as sediment. Small additions of Phosphorus to a waterbody may cause algal blooms, accelerated plant growth, and low dissolved oxygen from the decomposition of excess plants.
Trophic State Index (TSI) - TSI is a method of rating the eutrophication, or nutrient enrichment, and biological activity of a lake, pond, or reservoir. Values range from 1-100. Values ranging from 70-100 indicate lakes with an over-abundance of nutrients.
Total Suspended Solids (TSS) - TSS can be used to measure the volume of solids in a waterbody. It is the organic and inorganic material left on a standard glass fiber filter (0.45 micron) after a water sample is filtered through it. Too much suspended solids can be harmful to the biota in a stream.
Zinc - Zinc is a heavy metal that can be toxic to aquatic organisms in high concentrations.