The Water Quality Monitoring Section assesses the biological health of Missouri’s rivers and streams, and monitors water and sediment quality throughout the state.  The section includes the aquatic biological assessment and water monitoring units. The section works in support of the Water Protection Program to ensure that Missourians will always have clean water for drinking, recreation, tourism and continued economic growth. Staff travel to all areas of the state conducting a variety of investigations such as:

    • Wastewater discharge monitoring
    • Groundwater monitoring
    • Electrofishing
    • Stream surveys

The section often assists with special projects such as enforcement actions, environmental risk assessments or damage assessments resulting from chemical spills. Staff collects and evaluates a wide variety of water, sediment and macroinvertebrate samples. The results of these studies are used to make certain that the rivers, streams and lakes of Missouri remain a treasure for all to enjoy.

Aquatic Biological Monitoring Unit

Aquatic biological assessments are evaluations of the conditions of water bodies using surveys and other direct measurements of residential biological organisms, such as macroinvertebrates, fish and plants. Biological assessment results are used to answer the question of whether water bodies support the survival and reproduction of desirable fish, shellfish and other aquatic species.

Water Quality Monitoring Unit

Analyses Performed

Chlorophyll a
Escherichia coli (E. coli)
Fecal Coliform

Special Studies

Missouri State Parks Swimming Area E. coli Sampling and Results

The Water Quality Monitoring Unit provided weekly E.coli analysis of water samples collected from 20 swimming areas located in the department’s state parks during the recreational season.  Staff completed more than 580 analyses.

Swimming Areas and Sampling Results, 2013

Lake of the Ozarks E. coli Sampling

The Water Quality Monitoring Unit, working with volunteers from the Lake Ozark Watershed Alliance, collected E. coli samples from 118 coves throughout the lake starting in 2007 and ending in 2011.  The unit analyzed 1619 samples collected during the study.  Annual geometric means for the survey ranged from 3.0 to 8.8 colonies per 100 milliliters of water.

Study Reports and Map

East Fork Locust Creek/Locust Creek E. coli Study

2006 Report
2007 Report

Hinkson Creek Stream Study

Phase I study - Executive Summary
Phase I study - Full Report
Phase II study - Executive Summary
Phase II study - Full Report
Phase III Study - Executive Summary
Phase III Study - Full Report

Big River Sediment Study

2007 Report

Additional Information

Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program

Water Quality Parameters Quick Reference Guide

Water Quality Triad

Water Related Links