Temperature is a very important characteristic to consider when monitoring a stream or waterway. The temperature not only determines what organisms live in the waters, but also can give clues to pollutions sources. Fish are divided into cold water and warm water families. Often Brook Trout and other cool water fish inhabit the headwaters and upper reaches of streams. These areas are more likely to be shady and cooler. Warm water fishes are found further downstream, near the mouth of a waterway. These fish prefer more open water with less shade and increased temperatures.
The temperature of water contaminated by AMD may be very cold. AMD travels from deep underground mines into the surface water of the stream. This keeps the AMD discharge at the same temperature as the underground reservoir it is coming from. Most discharges range between 13 and 15 degrees Celsius, much colder than average surface water.
Don't confirm that there is an AMD discharge by temperature alone. It is best to monitor other factors such as pH and iron as well before confirming the presence of AMD.
Most any thermometer can be used to measure the temperature of the stream. Try to choose one with easy to read scales, however to make the readings easy and accurate. Often chemical monitoring meters will read the temperature of the water as well as the factor they are supposed to measure. If you possess such a monitor, the temperature can be recorded using it rather than a thermometer.
Other important AMD tests
|Temperature||Acidity||Dissolved Oxygen (DO)||pH||Aluminum|
|Flow||Alkalinity||Total Dissolved Solids (Conductivity)||Iron||Manganese|