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Monitoring equipment for watershed project arrives

July 26, 2011

Watershed specialist Kim Bonfardine displays one of the many data loggers that will be placed into streams throughout the county. Photo by Gian DeLoia.

Elk County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine debuted new monitoring equipment that will be used for the Elk County Monitoring Project during Monday night's regular meeting.
"I'm pretty excited as we are trying to get things going quickly because of all the equipment that is coming in," Bonfardine said.
One of the items presented was a data logger that will go directly into the waterway to measure the conductivity, flow and temperature.
Each data logger will be encased in a housing unit, built by interns, to protect it from weather and debris.
"We will start deploying the data loggers this week and the YSIs [satellite telemetry] systems will follow," Bonfardine said. "We will not be putting all of the monitors out at one time-- rather, we will watch where there are the most drilling activities taking place and make decisions based on that information. Some of the YSI units will be placed in drinking water watersheds, as this is the No. 1 priority. I am working with water authorities to learn as much as possible about their source drinking water so this info can be used in designing the monitoring plan."
Each data logger will manually need to be checked every couple of weeks.
"There should be somebody going out every two weeks to check on these," Bonfardine said. "In the spring when the ice is going to be going through, we will definitely have to be getting out there and make sure that they are secure or possibly pull them if needed."
A more permanent and much larger solar-powered system was also displayed that will also rest in the stream for monitoring purposes.

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