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Health of the Rideau River

 

The Rideau River near Manotick.
The Rideau River near Manotick.

Water Quality at a Glance:
Burritts Rapids to Long Island

This table uses several indicators to give an overview of the water quality of the Rideau River between Burritts Rapids and Long Island. Data collected in 1999 is presented. These data are representative of data recorded during the three years of the Rideau River Biodiversity Project.


Map of the Rideau River between Burritts Rapids and Long Island. See a detailed map of the Rideau River between Burritts Rapids and Long Island.

 

 Burritts Rapids to Long Island
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Bullet. 
Bullet.  
 Don't Overlook...  
Arrow.  
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image Some Results from Water Quality Research Conducted in 1999 image
Indicator
Acceptable levela Average Minimum Maximum Description
Fertilizers
Nitrate and Nitrite
(mg/L)
Value not established 0.01 0.00 0.06
Found neither in excess nor at levels limiting to plant growth.
Phosphorus
(mg/L) a
0.03 0.031 0.021 0.044
Levels exceed acceptable maximum and encourage problematic plant growth.
Dissolved Salts
Sodium
(mg/L)
Value not established 7.03 5.66 9.51 Sodium is not found in excess.
Metals
Aluminium
(mg/L) a
0.005 to 0.100
(acceptable range)
0.0603 0.0010 0.1120 Average level does not exceed acceptable maximum. Local sources of higher levels have not been determined.
Copper
(mg/L) a
0.002 to 0.004
(acceptable range)
0.0009 0.0005 0.0031 Levels do not exceed acceptable maximum.
Iron
(mg/L) a
0.3 0.0619 0.0320 0.1100 Levels do not exceed acceptable maximum.
Oxygen
Dissolved Oxygen
(mg/L) a
5 to 9.5
(acceptable range)
7.68 5.60 9.43 Levels fall within acceptable range. In areas where the water depth exceeds 6.5 m, the oxygen levels were often very low.
Bacteria
E. coli (CFU/100 ml) b 200 3.9 2.0 24.0 Average and maximum levels do not exceed acceptable maximum.
Pesticides
DDT
(µg/kg dry weight) c
1.19 < 1.0 < 1.0 < 1.0 No measurable response. Levels are below detectable limit.
PCB
(µg/kg dry weight) c
34.1 < 1.0 < 1.0 < 1.0 No measurable response. Levels are below detectable limit.

a Established in the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for Freshwater Aquatic Life. [11]
b Established in the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality. [15]
c Established in the Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life. [12]

 

A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
  
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Diane Pathy