Water Quality and Quantity


An adequate water supply is critical for all life. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority monitors and reports on water quality and quantity throughout our watershed in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

With the MOE, the CRCA operates a water quality monitoring program in local lakes and rivers. Water and benthic invertebrate samples are collected by the CRCA at 14 stations around the watershed. Chemical analysis of the water samples is provided by the MOE. CRCA staff analyze the benthic samples.

Water Quantity Monitoring

The CRCA and Environment Canada maintain eight stream gauges that continuously measure water levels and flows on creeks in the Cataraqui region. These stream gauges are located on the following watercourses:

  • Buells Creek
  • Collins Creek
  • Little Cataraqui Creek – West Branch
  • Lyn Creek
  • Lyndhurst Creek
  • Millhaven Creek near Millhaven and in Sydenham
  • Wilton Creek.

The CRCA also measures precipitation and snow depth and quality at 12 rain gauges and seven snowcourse survey sites.

Water Quality Monitoring

We monitor water quality through a number of different programs. Chemical analysis of surface water (lakes, rivers and streams) from 14 locations around the region is analyzed monthly during ice-free conditions. This is done under the Ministry of Environment’s Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network.

Benthic macroinvertebrates are also collected and identified regularly throughout the year. These are insects such as dragonflies, mayflies and leeches that spend some or all of their life in the water. These insects provide a good indicator of the quality of the water. A large population of benthic macroinvertebrates means that the stream or river is healthy.

Groundwater quality is also monitored at seven wells in the region through the MOE’s Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network. The CRCA maintains records for each of these wells and is able to evaluate long-term trends through their analysis.

Watershed Report Card