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.


Why is turbidity important?

Resource: Water Science School - Turbidity and Water (USGS)

Turbidity is a measurement of the amount of light that is scattered by suspended particles. In simple terms, it measures how cloudy or muddy the water is. High turbidity values create an unwelcome environment for aquatic life by reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen and increasing surface water temperature. A turbid stream means there is an abundance of particles, which can increase the concentration of metals and bacteria as the pollutants have more particles to attach to. Turbidity is measured in arbitrary units, Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU).

Turbidity and Streamflow in Big Chico Creek

graph legend

turbidity versus streamflow in big chico creek over a one year period

*two outlier points were omitted from the visual, but can be located in the data table:

12/16/2021, 6.05 NTU; 1/4/2022, 5.82 NTU