With the help of land owner / manager members of the Wensum Alliance, a number of high-spec monitoring installations have been put in place to collect data. Further down this page you can take a look at the baseline data that has been collected. In 2013, a series of experiments began across nine fields, to test a series of measures that aim to reduce diffuse pollution. To read more about this go to the research page.

The links below explain more about the design of the monitoring programme and the types of data being collected.

Monitoring Result Highlights

The plot (below left) shows total phosphorus (TP) concentration data collected in the Wensum DTC at Kiosk E in the Blackwater sub-catchment. The high-resolution, 30-minute sampling at the bankside monitoring station reveals that TP concentrations exceeded the environmental water quality standard for 22% of the time during 2011 and 2012. In comparison, weekly water sampling at the same location did not capture the high concentration values seen during storm events, so sampling by this method results in an apparent exceedance of the standard for only 12% of the time.

The plot (below right) shows the same type of graphical representation for nitrate concentration (as N). The weekly grab sample data show that the water quality standard is only exceeded once during the period April 2011- December 2012 while the high-resolution data from the bankside monitoring station indicate that high concentrations were experienced for 9% of the period.


Monitoring Results from Kiosk E Monitoring Results from Kiosk E

This illustrates the extra understanding that can be gained from our high-intensity state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. This type of evidence being generated by the DTC monitoring programme supports the idea that a concentration frequency target may be more meaningful ecologically than average concentrations or loads given that it relates directly to the duration of exposure of aquatic organisms to nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.


What happened when it rained? [Click here] to see the results of the rainfall event of 5th & 6th March 2012. The first major rainfall after a long dry period. The contrast between the monitoring results for the preceding dry period and the high rainfall of 2012, is beginning to reveal some interesting results concerning the movement of nutrients into water courses.

Monitoring in the Blackwater Study Area:

Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum

The map on the right shows the Blackwater area of the Wensum catchment and the approximate locations of the monitoring sites. The area has been divided into a number of zones. Two of these (C & D) will act as 'controls' where no intervention will take place. Two other areas (A & B) are where our farmer/landowner colleagues will be participating in some experimental changes in crop management that it is thought will help improve water quality.

We are currently collecting data for each monitoring point. This includes rainfall, flow rates, nitrate and phosphate concentrations etc. If you click on the links below you will be able to see monthly graphs of some of the data from each point.


Mini-monitoring sites

The mini-monitoring stations are recording water quality from smaller land areas that in combination with experimental changes in land management will help to identify which factors or combinations of factors lead to improvements in water quality. The kiosks contain an automatic water sampler and multi-parameter sonde, and in-stream turbidity meter, flow meter and water level pressure transducer.

Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum
POINT A: Records the main area where experimental
changes in land management are planned to
improve water quality.
To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL & TURBIDITY data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE
Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum
POINT B: Records a second area where experimental
changes in land management are planned.

To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL & TURBIDITY data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE


Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum
POINT C: Records an area where no changes in land
management are planned.
 
To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL & TURBIDITY data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE
Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum
POINT D: Records a second area where no changes in
land management are planned.
 
To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL & TURBIDITY data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE


New Mini-catchment monitoring station
POINT M: Records an area upstream of point A where
changes in land management are planned.
 
To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL & TURBIDITY data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE


Main Monitoring sites

The two larger monitoring sites collect a wider range of data. Site E reflects the overall effects of the experimental measures implemented in zones A and B, and site F will reflect data from the whole sub-catchment. The Kiosks at E and F contain the same equipment as the Mini-kiosks and additionally include nutrient analysers (Total P, Dissolved reactive P and Nitrate).

Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum
POINT E: At the confluence of subcatchments A & B.
Examines the influence of experimental test
measures on water quality.
To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL, NITRATE, TURBIDITY
& PHOSPHOROUS data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE
Catchment monitoring setup on the River Wensum
POINT F: Represents the status of the whole Black-
water study area.

To see RAINFALL, WATER LEVEL, NITRATE, TURBIDITY
& PHOSPHOROUS data CLICK HERE
To see WATER TEMP, pH, CONDUCTIVITY & DISSOLVED OXYGEN data CLICK HERE