DEC programs collect monitoring data on rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters, evaluate these results, and report the water quality information to the public.
Water Quality Assessment
- New York State assembles and evaluates all water quality monitoring data for use in updating water quality assessment information for New York State waterbodies. Also referred to as the Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List (WI/PWL), water quality assessment factsheets are produced for each waterbody and are made available via the DECinfo Locator.
- New York State waterbodies that do not support their best uses and do not meet water quality standards, are compiled into the CWA Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters. These waterbodies, along with the pollutant causing the impairment, are prioritized to receive restoration plans known as Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plans.
Statewide Monitoring Programs
Visit the Water Quality Monitoring page to learn more about:
- Rotating Integrated Basin Studies (RIBS) Program - an overarching program that monitors rivers, lakes and streams statewide.
- Stream Biomonitoring - a component of RIBS that uses aquatic macroinvertebrates to monitor the water quality of streams and rivers
- Lake Classification and Inventory (LCI) - focuses on lake monitoring.
- Citizens Statewide Lakes Assessment Program (CSLAP) uses NYS Federation of Lake Associations (FOLA) volunteers to supplement LCI lake monitoring.
- The Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) is a citizen-based water quality assessment project.
- Groundwater Sampling in New York State is conducted in collaboration with the US Geological Survey.
- The Toxicity Testing Program uses evaluates aquatic toxicity in waters and oversees toxicity testing programs at SPDES permitted facilities.
- Other waterbody or watershed-specific reports are organized by major basin/watershed or by county. County pages contain CSLAP, LCI and Biological Assessment reports grouped by county. Basin pages contain watershed management plans, watershed facts and other available watershed-specific reports.
- The Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program ensures activities and environmental data meet appropriate quality assurance and quality control requirements.