Site Description

Site ID: RC15
Readington Township (Whitehouse Station), Hunterdon County
Stream Category: FW2-TM (Category 2, Trout maintenance waters)
Site monitors Rockaway Creek South Branch subwatershed (HUC: 02030105050100)
The site is located at the end of Nelson Street on New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA) property; please contact NJSWA before accessing this site.

What is being monitored at this site?

Water Quality Data

Each June, Raritan Headwaters scientists and volunteers visit 72 stream sites in the North and South Branch Raritan Watershed Region (WMA8) of New Jersey to collect data on the health of our streams.  Data collected includes a sample of benthic macroinvertebrates (used to calculate the High Gradient Macroinvertebrate Index;HGMI score), an assessment of the habitat in and around the stream, and chemical conditions in the water.  Chemical parameters include dissolved oxygen, phosphate, chloride, specific conductance, nitrate, turbidity, pH, and temperature. The HGMI is used by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to determine if the site is meeting state and national water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. Click here to learn more about our stream monitoring program and water quality reports.

Site Data for RC15

Select a parameter below to view annual data. Hover over the chart to get more information.

Threats and Recommendations

The HGMI at RC15 was found to be fair in 2019, which means it was biologically impaired. Because RC15 has been consistently impaired based on the HGMI for more than 2 years, it is part of our quarterly chemical monitoring program so that we can begin to identify and address the causes of impairment. This site is located within an agriculturally rich section of our watershed, which means that run off from farm fields as well as lack of riparian buffers are likely negatively impacting the water quality of this stream. The biggest water quality issues that we found at this site were high levels of bacteria and phosphates in the water. Most of the bacteria and anthropogenic phosphates in streams comes from stormwater run-off, wastewater treatment plants, and septic systems. High levels of nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates cause an overgrowth of bacteria and algae and eventually result in oxygen depletion.  More sustainable farming practices and keeping an intact riparian buffer may help to increase water quality in this stream. Bacteria levels peak after heavy rain events due to the sudden influx of nutrients and bacteria running off the land.




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