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Monitoring the Water Quality of the St. Lawrence River

There are currently ten water quality sampling stations being operated in Quebec by Environment Canada. They serve to assess the level of water contamination by registering seasonal and interannual fluctuations as well as long-term trends in contaminant concentrations.

Map of water quality stations
Location map of the water quality sampling stations operated by Environment Canada in Quebec

 

Station Information

Carillon

  • Starting date : 2004
  • Water Sampling at the Mouth of the Ottawa River, monthly (twice monthly from mid-April to mid-May)
  • Parameters Analyzed : Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn , Hg, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature

Lavaltrie

  • Starting date : 2006
  • Water Sampling of the brown waters of the Ottawa River, downstream from the urban centres of Montréal and Laval, monthly
  • Parameters Analyzed : Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, Hg, SPM, conductivity, pH, temperature

Richelieu

  • Starting date : 2006
  • Water sampling at the mouth of Richelieu River, monthly
  • Parameters Analyzed : Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, Hg, organo-nitrogen and organophosphorus pesticides, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature

Yamaska

  • Starting date : 2004
  • Water sampling of the Mouth of the Yamaska River, monthly/week from late May to late August
  • Parameters Analyzed : Organo-nitrogen, organophosphorus and aryloxyacid pesticides, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature

Saint-François

  • Starting date : 2004
  • Water Sampling of the mouth of Saint-François River, once a week from late May to late August
  • Parameters Analyzed : Organo-nitrogen, organophosphorus and aryloxyacid pesticides, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature

Nicolet

  • Starting date : 2004
  • Water Sampling of the mouth of Nicolet River,  weekly from late May to late August
  • Parameters Analyzed : Organo-nitrogen, organophosphorus and aryloxyacid pesticides, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature

Saint-Maurice

  • Starting date : 2006
  • Water sampling of the mouth of the Saint-Maurice River, monthly
  • Parameters Analyzed :Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, Hg, SPM, conductivity, pH, temperature

Bécancour

  • Starting date : 2006
  • Water Sampling of the water masses from south shore tributaries and the Great Lakes, monthly
  • Parameters Analyzed :Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, Hg, organo-nitrogen and organophosphorus pesticides, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature

Lévis

  • Starting date : 1995
  • Water Sampling of the mixing of various water masses, twice monthly; monthly in fall and winter
  • Parameters Analyzed : Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, Hg, organo-nitrogen and organophosphorus pesticides, DOC, tot. P, diss. PO4, tot. diss. P, NH4, NO2-NO3, SPM, turbidity, POC, PON, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, temperature,

La Mauricie National Park

  • Starting date : 2008
  • Water Sampling of the La Pêche River, monthly
  • Parameters Analyzed : Al, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Li, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, Hg, K, DOC, POC, TOC, O-PO4, PON, diss. PO4, tot. P, tot. diss. P, NH3, NO2-NO3, SO4, SPM, turbidity, alkalinity, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, température, apparent colour
  • SPM, turbidity, alkalinity, chlorophyll, conductivity, pH, température, apparent colour

Collection and Analysis of Water Samples

Precise sampling and analysis protocols must be followed when doing this work. Collection and measurement techniques adapted to the study of trace and ultratrace contaminants were adopted in order to obtain reliable, specific data. Sampling strategies are developed based on water regimes and the anticipated variability in concentrations of the contaminants studied. Sampling frequency therefore varies from weekly to monthly, depending on the sampling station and the contaminant being studied.

Sampling site

This project is part of a Canadian water quality monitoring program and contributes new data for the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators report, which is published annually by the federal government.

For More Information