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Biological Monitoring

The long-term health of campus streams is monitored by periodic collection and identification of aquatic insects living in streams. Aquatic insects are a good indicator of stream health because some species are very tolerant of pollution while others can not live in polluted environments. If water quality improves over time, populations of the more susceptible species of aquatic insects should increase.

Initial monitoring of campus streams was done in 2001 and 2002 by UNC faculty and students.

In 2017, monitoring was completed using the NC Department of Environmental Quality Biolotical Assessment Branch’s Benthos Macroinvertebrate Standard Operating Procedures for Small Streams.

Biological monitoring is also done by the Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro.

Water Quality Monitoring

Various organizations collect water quality data from water bodies that provide the drinking water to campus and from water bodies downstream of campus.  Some of these sources are: