Farm wetlands accumulate what's around them.

Farm wetlands accumulate what’s around them.

Part 2: Nutrients and Ecoli

How’s the water quality in your dam or wetland?

An underlying assumption of our Farm Wetlands for Woodlands project is that by improving the ecology of a wetland and its surrounds, by controlling stock access and encouraging native vegetation,  water quality will also improve.

The water in our project-wetlands is generally run-off from surrounding paddocks, or from inlet waterways that travel across grazing paddocks. So there’s plenty of opportunity for the water to pick up dissolved nutrients, animal excrement and sediment. How much of this material is ending up in the wetlands and is it impacting on water quality?

Our aim was to analyse samples of water from our project-wetlands in Spring and in Autumn, to get a snapshot of how nutrient and ecoli pollution vary among the wetlands and at different times of the year. For this part of the Farm Wetlands for Woodlands project we employed the professional help of Regional Laboratory Services, a local business, to analyse water samples from project-wetlands.

Two sampling events:

  • 11 December 2013 after good Winter and Spring rains, so that when wetlands had filled.
  • 10 April 2014 after a hot, dry Summer and before any Autumn rains.

Parameters measured: Nitrate, Nitrite, Total Phosphorus, Available Phosphorus, Ecoli@35 C, Ecoli@44.5 C.