StreamWatch is a long running volunteer water monitoring program with 170 volunteers across the Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra region. Starting in 1990, StreamWatch began with a trial in 15 schools and a focus on curriculum implementation in secondary schools, but quickly extended beyond schools into a citizen science program. In 2012, the Australian Museum took over the reins to run the program while it continues to be funded by Sydney Water. Two StreamWatch sites were set up along Stringybark Creek in 2015, following a training workshop for residents by Australian Museum staff. A third site in Warraroon Reserve was registered in 2017.
To join StreamWatch please contact the Bushcare Co-ordinator on 9911 3579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
StreamWatch Groups in Lane Cove
Upper Stringybark Creek StreamWatch Group
Meets during the week at the end of Murray St - bush entrance to the reserve. Please contact the Bushcare Co-orindator for details on times and locations.
Stringybark Creek StreamWatch Group
Meets on the 1st Saturday of every month from 9.30am - 11am.
Meet: right of way leading down to Batten Reserve, adjacent to 21 Johnston Crescent, Lane Cove North
Warraroon StreamWatch Group
Meets on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 9.30am - 11am.
Meet: opposite 28 Dettmann Ave entrance to Warraroon Reserve, Riverview
StreamWatch groups test a range of water qualities including, but not limited to; turbidity, electrical conductivity, pH and temperature. These measurements paint a picture of our creeks and catchment:
Turbidity measures the cloudiness of water caused by tiny particles. High turbidity reduces the growth of aquatic plants which affects the animals that rely on these plants. It also makes it difficult for animals to breathe by clogging their gills. Turbidity is caused by soil erosion due to heavy rainfall or floods and sediments from building sites amongst other causes.
Electrical conductivity is used as an indirect measure of salinity. The greater the concentration of salt in water, the better it conducts electricity. Large and rapid changes in salinity are usually the result of human activities such as industrial discharge and sewage discharge.
pH measures the acidity and alkalinity of the water. Most aquatic organisms are adapted to living within narrow pH ranges around neutral. The optimal pH range for most Australian freshwater organisms is from 6.5 to 8.0. If the pH remains outside the optimal range, aquatic organisms will become stressed and it can cause a decrease in the number of species living in a waterway.
Water temperature is the major factor determining how much dissolved oxygen there is in water. Cold water is able to hold more dissolved oxygen than warm water, and dissolved oxygen is essential for the survival of aquatic animals.
This information is from the StreamWatch website – for more details view the Australian Museum web-page https://australianmuseum.net.au/streamwatch