Spring Has Sprung:
What that Means for Water Quality
During spring runoff, water created by the melting snow saturates the ground quickly, and most of it makes its way into rivers and streams. This melt-water can carry eroded soil, organic matter such as leaf litter, and dissolved nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous.
While wetlands act to absorb nutrients and toxins during the plant growth period, the winter die-off of these plants releases whatevery they have absorbed back into the water. The spring runoff then carries these into the watershed, so this is the time of year when the water is most polluted.
It's important that we sample during this period so we can get a clear picture of how spring runoff affects water quality in our sample area.