Wisconsin Water Science Center

Water Quality

Water quality is measure of the suitability of water for a particular use based on selected physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. Water-quality monitoring is used to help water-resource managers understand and avert potential negative effects of man-made and natural stresses on water resources. The Wisconsin Water Science Center investigates water-quality issues using new technologies and techniques to study the physical, chemical, biological, geological interactions in rivers, streams, lakes, and groundwater in Wisconsin and across the Nation. Some of the issues we address include the occurrence, distribution, trends, and modeling of pollutants; the relationship between ecological responses and water quality; and the relationships between natural factors, land use, and water quality, in both rural and urban settings.

Filter Total Items: 47
Date published: February 25, 2016

Little St. Germain Lake: Phosphorus loading, winter anoxia, and stage regulation

Little St. Germain Lake, Wis., consists of four main basins separated by narrows. This study monitored lake water quality, identified phosphorus sources, determined spatial and temporal distribution of oxygen, evaluated the effectiveness of winter aeration systems, and modeled groundwater/lake-water interactions.

Date published: February 25, 2016

North Fish Creek bluff stabilization monitoring

North Fish Creek, Wis., has accelerated erosion and sedimentation that negatively affects aquatic habitat. This project monitored three rehabilitation projects (including submerged flow-deflecting vanes) to determine their effect on bluff erosion rates and sediment volumes, and to describe the upland land cover and soils. This data will help guide runoff management and bluff restoration...

Date published: February 24, 2016

Pioneer Farm bank erosion study

Riparian grazing allows cattle free access to streams, but may accelerate erosion by the removal or trampling of vegetation. This study measured stream bank erosion, channel morphology, and stream substrate through seven experimental intensive-rotational pastures. It also evaluated the use of photo-electronic erosion pins (PEEPs) for measuring bank erosion in this type of geomorphic setting....

Date published: February 23, 2016

Bayfield tributaries geomorphic assessment for restoration

Lake Superior tributaries in Bayfield County, Wis., have accelerated erosion and sedimentation influenced by changing land use, steep slopes, erodible soils, and flashy runoff. This project assessed the geomorpology of five tributaries, identified problem areas, and assessed rehabilitation alternatives and watershed management strategies specifically related to the rehabilitation of brook...

Date published: February 22, 2016

Water quality of the lower Fox River tributaries and Duck Creek watersheds

The USGS is evaluating the effectiveness of non-point pollution control measures in five watersheds in the Lower Fox River and Duck Creek watersheds and comparing daily phosphorus and suspended solids loads for each watershed.

Date published: February 21, 2016

Impact of phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations on the biological integrity of Wisconsin streams

The USGS and Wisconsin DNR collected water-quality and biological data from 240 wadeable streams and 40 nonwadeable rivers throughout Wisconsin to evaluate the potential environmental benefits of enforcing nutrient criteria and standards for streams and rivers if they better reflected regionally defined, scientifically defensible thresholds to biotic response.

Date published: February 19, 2016

PEST++: A Parameter ESTimation code optimized for large environmental models

The PEST++ software suite is object-oriented universal computer code written in C++ that expands on and extends the algorithms included in PEST, a widely used parameter estimation code written in Fortran. PEST++ is designed to lower the barriers of entry for users and developers while providing efficient algorithms that can accommodate large, highly parameterized problems.

Date published: February 18, 2016

PESTCommander: A graphical user interface for file and run management across networks

PESTCommander is an object-oriented Graphical User Interface (GUI) written in Python® that facilitates the management of model files ("file management") and remote launching and termination of slave computers across a distributed network of computers ("run management").

Date published: February 17, 2016
Status: Active

GENIE: A general model-independent TCP/IP run manager

GENIE is a model-independent suite of programs that can be used to generally distribute, manage, and execute multiple model runs via the TCP/IP infrastructure. The suite consists of a file distribution interface, a run manage, a run executer, and a routine that can be compiled as part of a program and used to exchange model runs with the run manager.

Contacts: Randall J Hunt, Ph.D., Chris Muffels
Date published: February 16, 2016

TSPROC: a general time-series processor to assist in model calibration and result summarization

TSPROC (Time Series PROCessor) is a software package designed to assist in the calibration of models by editing and distilling time series datasets into more meaningful observations to be used in the optimization objective function. The software performs calculations on time-series data associated with surface-water models, including calculation of flow volumes, transformation by means of...

Date published: February 15, 2016

Western Lake Michigan NAWQA Study Unit

Western Lake Michigan Drainages Study Unit in Wisconsin and Michigan was part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program during Cycle 1 and 2. Research in this study unit included assessments of surface water and ecology, groundwater, urbanization effects, and mercury.