The Water Quality Monitoring Inventory is an overview of metadata for chemical, physical, and biological data collected to record water quality conditions in and around South San Francisco Bay and the salt ponds. The inventory was compiled to aid in analysis of the water quality associated with the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project and to help researchers working in the South Bay find ancillary environmental information from other groups working in the region. This document provides a basis for organizing program information and is a resource for planning future studies of the restoration project. The inventory contains information on about 40 activities and was complied by Heather Peterson, USGS.

  • Table of water monitoring activities (October 2006) (PDF | XLS)
    Includes references
  • Map of sampling stations (PDF)
    Sampling locations for five key South Bay monitoring efforts by the US Geological Survey, SF Bay Bird Observatory, and City of San Jose

Related information

Other information collected during the initial compilation of the water quality activity inventory

  • Other monitoring activities of interest (PDF | XLS)
    These studies do not monitor basic water quality, but provide environmental data that are complementary to the water quality studies, or are current high-profile studies coordinated with the SBSP Project. Information on about 12 studies is provided and was complied by Heather Peterson, USGS.
  • Pond breach dates

Pond Breach Dates

Compiled by Heather Peterson, US Geological Survey. Updated October 2006.

Pond Opening Date Type Structure Flows To
A1 7/19/04 inlet gated culvert Charleston Sl.
AB1 7/19/04 inlet gated culvert Bay
A2W 7/19/04 outlet gated culvert Bay
A3W 7/19/04 outlet gated culvert Guadalupe Sl.
A5 7/26/04 inlet gated culvert Guadalupe Sl.
A7 7/26/04 outlet gated culvert Alviso Sl.
A9 3/31/05 inlet gated culvert Alviso Sl.
A14 3/31/05 outlet gated culvert Coyote Creek
A16 3/31/05 inlet/outlet gated culvert Artesian Sl.
A17 3/31/05 inlet/outlet gated culvert Coyote Creek
A18 2/17/05 inlet/outlet gated culvert Artesian Sl.
A19 3/7/06 inlet/outlet levee breach Coyote Creek
A20 3/12/06 inlet/outlet levee breach North Creek
A21 3/29/06 inlet/outlet levee breach Coyote Creek
E1 8/11/04 inlet gated culvert Old Alameda Creek
E2 8/11/04 inlet/outlet gated culvert Bay
E2C April-05 inlet/outlet gated culvert Old Alameda Creek
E6A Winter 2005 inlet/outlet gated culvert Old Alameda Creek
E8 Winter 2005 inlet/outlet gated culvert North Creek
E8A 4/29/05 inlet/outlet gated culvert North Creek
E9 4/29/05 inlet gated culvert New Mt. Eden Creek
E10 pre 8/2004 inlet/outlet gated culvert Bay
E10new expected 09/2006 inlet/outlet gated culvert New Mt. Eden Creek

Monitoring glossary

Compiled by Heather Peterson, US Geological Survey

ADCP: Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers

BMI: Benthic Macro-Invertebrate

Chl a: Chlorophyll a is a green photosynthetic pigment found in most plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. For this project, chlorophyll a concentration is used as a proxy measurement for phytoplankton concentration.

Conductivity: (also known as electrical conductivity, or EC) Conductivity is a measure of a material's ability to conduct an electric current. For this program EC is measured in ambient water. In general, as water's salinity increases, so does the concentration if ions and the water's ability to conduct electric current. EC is generally reported in microSiemens per centimeter (µS/cm).

Cs: Cesium

CTD: An instrument that simultaneously measures electrical conductivity, temperature, and pressure (depth). Often sensors for other constituents such as dissolved oxygen, and pH are also bundled with the CTD sensor array.

Cu: Copper

Data sonde: an instrument package with sensors that measure conductivity, temperature, pressure (depth), and other water quality constituents such as dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and chlorophyll a. Instrument packages often come with internal data-logging devices. Sondes can be carried by field staff to collect in-situ measurements or left in-situ for extended periods (weeks or months) to collect data at regular (generally 15-minute) intervals.

Discrete Data: Data are collected manually, by monitoring staff during sampling events. Typically sampling events occur weekly, monthly or annually.

DO: Dissolved Oxygen, the amount of gaseous oxygen (O2) dissolved in an aqueous solution. DO is generally reported in mg/l.

DOC: Dissolved organic carbon; the organic carbon present in surface water that passes a 0.2 mm filter.

EC: See Conductivity.

Grab Samples: For this program grab samples are water or sediment samples collected at the sampling site for later analysis in a laboratory, in contrast to data collected in the field with instrumentation such as a data sonde.

Hg: mercury

MeHg: Methylmercury

NH4: Ammonium

Ni: Nickel

NO2: Nitrite

NO3: Nitrate

OBS: Optical Backscatter, a measure of turbidity or water clarity

OP Pesticides: organophosphate, organophosphorus pesticides

PAHs: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Pb: Lead

PBDE: polybrominated diphenyl ether

PCBs: polychlorinated biphenyls

pH: pH is a measure of the acidity of a solution in terms of activity of hydrogen ions (H+). Materials with a pH below 7 are considered to be acidic, while materials with a pH above 7 are considered to be basic.

PO4: Phosphate

ppt: Parts per thousand

psu: practical salinity units measure the conductivity ratio of a sea water sample to a standard KCl solution.

S04: Sulfate

Sal: Salinity

Se: Selenium

SFB: San Francisco Bay

SiO2: Silica – Silicon Dioxide

Sonde: See data sonde

SSC: Suspended sediment concentration

TEMP: Temperature, generally reported in degrees Celsius

TSS: Total suspended solids; for this program a measurement of the dry-weight of particles trapped by a filter, typically of a specified pore size

Turb: Turbidity, a measure of water cloudiness