Kenai River Water Quality Monitoring Activities

Introduction

In 2010 the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued two grants to the Kenai Watershed Forum for water quality monitoring on the Kenai River. The monitoring programs will assess turbidity levels at three locations in the lower Kenai River to establish natural conditions and monitor for petroleum hydrocarbon levels and other water quality parameters at 22 sites on the main stem of the Kenai River and its tributaries.

Fecal Coliform Monitoring

Kenai River has been monitored for fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria since 2009 as part of the BEACH program. Samples were collected at North and South Beach at the mouth of the Kenai between May and September. Sampling is scheduled to continue through 2012.

Turbidity monitoring

In July 2010 turbidity samples were collected using data loggers at three locations in the lower Kenai River. The turbidity data is currently being compiled and reviewed for quality assurance. The 2010 turbidity data will be assessed with data collected in July 2008 and 2009 to establish natural turbidity conditions for the lower Kenai River.

Petroleum hydrocarbon monitoring

In July 2010 and July 2011, Kenai Watershed Forum conducted a one day monitored event on the Kenai River watershed during the anticipated heaviest motorized use period. Samples were collected at 22 historical monitoring sites and assessed for 17 water quality parameters including petroleum hydrocarbons. The petroleum hydrocarbon monitoring demonstrated the Kenai River is still meeting state water quality standards for petroleum. Similar sampling is scheduled for 2012.

Contact

Tim Stevens
555 Cordova St
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-7515
Email: tim.stevens@alaska.gov