Water Quality Monitoring
The Spokane Riverkeeper uses science to change policy and engage the public. We currently focus our monitoring on water temperature and turbidity. We are developing a set of water quality procedures to evaluate water quality at popular swimming beaches in the Spokane area.
The Spokane River and it’s tributaries of Hangman Creek and the Little Spokane River have pollution issues that arise from different sources. The Spokane River is plagued by toxic PCBs and metals, while Hangman Creek suffers from the effects of nonpoint source pollution, which contains sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and high temperatures. Our innovative lawsuit against the EPA is helping to clean-up nonpoint source pollution in the Hangman Creek basin. Lake Spokane has very low dissolved oxygen levels and can contain toxic algal blooms, which are the result of high nutrient loading from industry and non-point source pollution entering the reservoir via the Spokane River.
The Spokane Riverkeeper monitors water temperature in the Spokane River and Hangman Creek during the hot summer months. In many cases, water temperature exceeds state standards creating unsuitable habitat for our native redband trout. In many cases, high water temperatures are due to the removal of shade producing riparian vegetation. Check out our water temperature reports below.
Turbidity and Sediment
Each spring Hangman Creek fills with sediment, spewing tons of dirt into the Spokane River. This cloudy water is bad for fish, macroinvertebrates, and all who depend on them.
The Spokane Riverkeeper, with help from Spokane Fall Trout Unlimited, leads a citizen science monitoring group to study water transparency (turbidity) in Hangman Creek and the Spokane River. If you’d like to help, please contact us and we will get you started!