Center for Water and the Environment

Big Chico Creek Water Quality Monitoring

Main | Data TableTemperatureElectrical Conductivity | pH Dissolved OxygenTurbidityNutrients Metals

Disclaimer: Data presented on this webpage were acquired following internal (non-standard) procedures and are therefore for information purposes only and not citable until independent peer review and publication.


What are trace metals and why do we look for them in water?

Resource: Water Resources - Metals and Other Trace Elements (USGS)

Trace elements, including metals, are elements present in the environment in extremely small amounts. Metals are present naturally in the environment through processes such as rock weathering and soil erosion. Many man-made objects end up in the environment from activities like mining, urban runoff, and industrial emissions. Some metals - iron and zinc - are natural at low concentrations and toxic at high concentrations, while other metals - mercury and lead - are already toxic at low concentrations. These elements will concentrate in sediment and leach into waterways, presenting a risk to human and aquatic health. Tracking these concentrations better informs decisions regarding drinking water quality and watershed management.

Data is still being analyzed and will be updated at a later date!