WRWC Facebook Page

Water Quality Data for 2007

The data below were collected at two sites sites on the Woonasquatucket River under the URI Watershed Watch Program:

  1. Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence
  2. Donigian Park, Providence

For more details about our monitoring program, the parameters we monitor, and links to more data, see the overview page for our water quality monitoring program. Data for other years are also available from this page as well as from the sidebar at right.

The water quality of many of the lakes and ponds in the watershed is also being monitored under the URI Watershed Watch program. The data for these sites are available on the Watershed Watch web site.


Bacteria: Samples for bacteria testing are collected once a month during the monitoring season and taken to the URI Watershed Watch lab for analysis. These results are generally available within about a week of the monitoring date.

In 2006 Watershed Watch began testing for the bacteria group enterococci, instead of fecal coliforms. This change was made because the US EPA identified enterococci as a better indicator of the risk of contacting gastrointestinal disorders as a result of coming into contact with the water than fecal coliforms. As a result of this finding, RI DEM and RI Department of Health are also switching to using enterococci as their standard for recreational contact (swimming). Prior to the to 2006 the bacteria groups tested for where e. coli or fecal coliforms.

The Rhode Island standard for freshwater used for recreation is 61 enterococci (count per 100 ml). For more information visit the URI Watershed Watch web site and, in particular, read this PDF document on bacterial monitoring

Enterococci (count per 100 ml):

Site May June July August September October
Greystone Pond 9.6 105.9 1553.1 88.4 140 2
Donigian Park 19.7 88.4 2419.6 435.2 634 43.2

Dissolved oxygen is important to the health of animals that live in the river because they need air to breath too. If the dissolved oxygen drops below 3 mg/L aquatic animals cannot survive. Between 3 and 5 mg/L it is hard for organisms to function, and above 5 is good. Oxygen levels are generally higher in the spring when the water is cold, because cold water can hold more oxygen. For more information visit the URI Watershed Watch web site and, in particular, read this PDF document on dissolved oxygen.

To run the test, two samples are collected and two tests are run on each sample. The four results are averaged to get the final value. The test used is the modified Winkler titration test. The dates listed below are the Saturday of the weekend on which the data were supposed to be collected. In some cases the samples were collected a few days before or after the date listed. See the detailed results below for the exact dates on which samples were collected.

Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L):

Site 4/28 5/12 5/26 6/9 6/16 6/30 7/14 7/21 8/4 8/18 9/1 9/15 9/29 10/13 10/20
Greystone Pond - 8.2 7.9 - 7.3 7.5 - 6.8 7.5 8.3 8.0 8.2 7.9 7.6 9.1
Donigian Park 9.6 8.3 7.4 7.9 8.4 7.3 6.3 6.4 6.0 6.3 6.2 7.3 7.4 8.1 8.5

Dissolved Oxygen (% Saturation):

Site 4/28 5/12 5/26 6/9 6/16 6/30 7/14 7/21 8/4 8/18 9/1 9/15 9/29 10/13 10/20
Greystone Pond - 89 87 - 78 82 - 78 89 94 88 89 84 75 90
Donigian Park 93 91 83 89 89 83 73 75 73 72 70 79 78 77 83

Nutrients: Data on nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are determined from samples delivered to URI along with the bacteria samples. However, the nutrient samples are not processed by Watershed Watch until after the end of the monitoring season. The data are typically posted on the URI Watershed Watch website sometime during the winter.


Collection Notes:

Sunday April 29, 2007 :: 7:50AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: light overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 14.1 C (57.4 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 2mm (0.08") Dissolved Oxygen: 9.6 mg/L
Air Temperature: 15.0 C (59 F)

Notes: A Great Blue Heron lifted off from below the dam as I was walking up to the site (when I got home I was looking at my notes from last year and on the first day last year a Great Blue Heron did the same thing!). A nice welcome to another year of monitoring on the Woonasquatucket River at Donigian Park. There is lots of bird life out today, including mallards, a canada goose, numerous songbirds and even some crows. It is a classic late-April morning: damp and cloudy, but warm enough to provide assurance that winter is truly over. The trees are starting to leaf out and the river is high and running hard (and a bit smelly) from the heavy rain last week.


Friday May 11, 2007 :: 12:00AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 19.1 C (66.4 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.2 mg/L

Friday May 11, 2007 :: 6:45AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: light overcast, light wind Water Temperature: 19.9 C (67.8 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.3 mg/L
Air Temperature: 19.0 C (66.2 F)

Notes: The sun is breaking through the fog, and a sky that was gray and white when I got here is turning blue. The sky overhead and to the north is the first to turn blue but the sun keeps coming in and out of the fog to the south, down closer to the bay. Sometimes the sun is completely hidden, sometimes it is shining brightly, and sometimes it is just a gleaming disk in the fog. There appears to be a Canada Goose nesting on the little island near where I collect my samples.


Saturday May 26, 2007 :: 12:00AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 19.8 C (67.6 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.9 mg/L

Saturday May 26, 2007 :: 8:00AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 21.0 C (69.8 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.4 mg/L
Air Temperature: 24.0 C (75.2 F)

Notes: It's Memorial Day weekend and the weather feels more like the 4th of July -- hot and hazy at 8AM! Some very large bumblebees are hurrying through a patch of yellow flowers gathering food and pollinating the flowers. It is amazing what a breeze will do. While I was analyzing my samples on the bank a breeze came up and suddenly if felt more like late May again.

Remember to take some time this weekend to remember those who have died in service to our country.


Tuesday June 12, 2007 :: 7:45AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 21.0 C (69.8 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 7mm (0.28") Dissolved Oxygen: 7.9 mg/L
Air Temperature: 19.0 C (66.2 F)

Notes: The sun is slipping in and out of the clouds and everything is damp and vibrant from last night's rain. The weather also brought down a precipitation of white flowers from a tree near the river. They lie scattered across the damp ground like giant snowflakes.

In the park two pair of Canada Geese were sheparding around two gooslings each. As I was sitting near the dam analyzing my samples the whole gang came marching up the path right past me and went down into the river right were I had just come ashore after collecting my samples.


Saturday June 16, 2007 :: 7:45AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 18.5 C (65.3 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.3 mg/L
Air Temperature: 16.0 C (60.8 F)

Saturday June 16, 2007 :: 7:30AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 18.4 C (65.1 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.4 mg/L
Air Temperature: 16.0 C (60.8 F)

Notes: The river is teaming with life this morning: the four Canada Geese with four goslings are back, there are a couple of ducks below the dam with half a dozen ducklings, I saw two fish jump, and in the shallow water there was a school of tiny fish flitting around. It is a beautiful early summer morning: cool in the shade, warm in the sun, and a blue sky overhead.


Saturday June 30, 2007 :: 7:20AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 20.0 C (68 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.5 mg/L
Air Temperature: 14.5 C (58.1 F)

Saturday June 30, 2007 :: 6:40AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 22.0 C (71.6 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.3 mg/L
Air Temperature: 18.0 C (64.4 F)

Notes: A beautiful morning on the river. There's not a cloud in the sky. The sun is filtering through the leaves as it slowly climbs up through the trees into the sky and the are birds singing in every direction. As I was standing in the river, in the shade, I watched a bird flying high overhead, twisting and turning in the morning sunlight.


Friday July 13, 2007 :: 7:15AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 22.7 C (72.9 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 6.3 mg/L
Air Temperature: 21.6 C (70.9 F)

Notes: A lovely, cloudless morning on the river. A duck was going head down, tails up to get food off the bottom right above the dam when I got to the site. I'm about to leave on a two week trip so Douglas Stephens will be filling in for me next week. Thanks Doug!


Friday July 20, 2007 :: 7:30AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: heavy overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 22.3 C (72.1 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 20mm (0.79") Dissolved Oxygen: 6.8 mg/L

Friday July 20, 2007 :: 7:30AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Douglas Stephens

Weather: heavy overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 23.5 C (74.3 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 20mm (0.79") Dissolved Oxygen: 6.4 mg/L
Air Temperature: 23.5 C (74.3 F)

Saturday August 4, 2007 :: 8:00AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 23.9 C (75 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.5 mg/L

Saturday August 4, 2007 :: 8:00AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 25.5 C (77.9 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 6.0 mg/L
Air Temperature: 26.0 C (78.8 F)

Notes: There's no doubt about it; its summertime. The river is low and slow but wonderfully clear. The sky is hazy and the air is warm and damp even at 8 in the morning. A Spotted Sandpiper is working his way along the face of the dam, just below the crest, in the falling water. He is hanging onto the dam with his feet, walking along and apparently picking some sort of food out of the rapidly moving water. Quite a trick.

Let's pause for a moment to remember Ken Weber, a great writer and naturalist who did so much to teach us all about and show us how to see for ourselves the natural world that is right outside our door but so often hidden from plain sight. He passed away on Thursday at the much too young age of 63. He will be greatly missed.


Thursday August 16, 2007 :: 7:20AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 21.4 C (70.5 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.3 mg/L

Thursday August 16, 2007 :: 6:00AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: light overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 22.3 C (72.1 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 6.3 mg/L
Air Temperature: 21.0 C (69.8 F)

Notes: There is a muted, low-energy feel to the morning. The river is as low as it's been all summer, there is not a breath of wind, and because it is cloudy there is no sun sparkling through the trees; but there is a whole flock of birds catching their breakfast of bugs above the river, and small fish, or some other small river creatures, keep rising to the surface and making ripples on the still water.


Sunday September 2, 2007 :: 7:45AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear Water Temperature: 19.9 C (67.8 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.0 mg/L

Saturday September 1, 2007 :: 7:55AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 21.2 C (70.2 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 6.2 mg/L
Air Temperature: 18.8 C (65.8 F)

Notes: The official first day of fall is still three weeks away, but it feels like fall today, this first day of September: the sky is a clear, sharp blue and for the first time in months it is sunny and cool at the same time. The river is very low, even lower than it was two weeks ago, and it is only coming over the dam in some places rather than all the way across. Three crows flew across the river as I was collecting my samples, nothing unusually really, but I don't usually see crows here.


Saturday September 15, 2007 :: 6:45AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: heavy overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 19.4 C (66.9 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 7mm (0.28") Dissolved Oxygen: 8.2 mg/L

Saturday September 15, 2007 :: 6:50AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: heavy overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 19.2 C (66.6 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 7mm (0.28") Dissolved Oxygen: 7.3 mg/L
Air Temperature: 18.0 C (64.4 F)

Notes: Big doings at the site: a fish ladder is being built on the other side of the river to give fish a way to get around the dam. So, there is a barrier of huge white sandbags around the area where the ladder is being built and the shoreline is all torn up. The fish will, we hope, be very happy when the fish ladder is ready for them to use.

A gentle but steady rain is falling this morning, making beautiful patterns on the surface of the river. Each raindrop makes a silvery flash as it hits the water, so the whole image is like a sea of twinkling lights between walls of lush green vegetation, rejuvenated by the recent rains after a very dry August.


Saturday September 29, 2007 :: 7:30AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear, light wind Water Temperature: 18.2 C (64.8 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 1mm (0.04") Dissolved Oxygen: 7.9 mg/L

Sunday September 30, 2007 :: 7:10AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 17.9 C (64.2 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 7.4 mg/L
Air Temperature: 11.5 C (52.7 F)

Notes: Fall is definitely here. I arrived at the site a few minutes before 7 AM and the sun was just creeping above the horizon. It is a still morning and the low sun is spreading a soft, warm light across the scene. The leaves are still green, but if this cool weather keeps up, I'm sure they will start turning soon. The river is still very low.

It is hard to tell if much progress has been made on the fish ladder. The hole seems a little deeper and it looks like the bottom of the hole is pretty much dry. Sort of odd looking at dry land well below the surface of the river.


Saturday October 13, 2007 :: 7:20AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Caroline Brown

Weather: clear Water Temperature: 14.9 C (58.8 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: 3mm (0.12") Dissolved Oxygen: 7.6 mg/L

Sunday October 14, 2007 :: 7:50AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: clear, calm wind Water Temperature: 12.9 C (55.2 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.1 mg/L
Air Temperature: 9.0 C (48.2 F)

Notes: Fall weather has finally arrived: the sky is deep blue, the sun is shining brightly and the air still has a definite chill to it. The river is running cold and clear and feels almost like a mountain stream this morning!


Thursday October 18, 2007 :: 7:30AM

Greystone Pond, Johnston - N. Providence

Data Collected by: Douglas Stephens

Weather: heavy overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 15.1 C (59.2 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 9.1 mg/L

Thursday October 18, 2007 :: 7:00AM

Donigian Park, Providence

Data Collected by: Bruce Hooke

Weather: heavy overcast, calm wind Water Temperature: 14.1 C (57.4 F)
Rainfall in the past 48 hours*: none Dissolved Oxygen: 8.5 mg/L
Air Temperature: 16.0 C (60.8 F)

Notes: It is a misty morning and everything around me looks soft and muted, even gentle; but the cold river water is a reminder that fall is here and another season of monitoring on the Woonasquatucket has come to an end. Most of the leaves on the trees are still quite green, but some reds and yellows are starting to show up. Even on this windless morning, there is an irregular procession of yellow leaves floating down to land on the ground or in the river. One lands very neatly right on the crest of the dam and is immediately swept over the edge and into the churning water below.


* Note: Rainfall amounts are recorded at a rain gauge in western Providence or at other rain gauges in the area. These rainfall amounts should be view as approximations.

Contact Us  ::  Website feedback  ::  Add your name to our mailing list

Thank you to our organizational sponsors

B101BetaNBC 10