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Health of the Rideau River

 

A researcher at the lock at Smiths Falls.
At the lock at Smiths Falls.

Water Quality at a Glance:
Smiths Falls to Burritts Rapids

This table uses several indicators to give an overview of the water quality of the Rideau River between Smiths Falls and Burritts Rapids. 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 Smiths Falls and Burritts Rapids. See a detailed map of the Rideau River between Smiths Falls and Burritts Rapids.

 

 Smiths Falls to Burritts Rapids
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Bullet. 
Arrow. 
 Don't Overlook...  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
image Some Results from Water Quality Research Conducted in 1999 image
   
Indicator
Acceptable levela Average Minimum Maximum Description
Nitrate and Nitrite
(mg/L)
Value not established 0.03 0.00 0.10
Found neither in excess nor at levels limiting to plant growth.
Phosphorus
(mg/L) a
0.03 0.022 0.019 0.029
The lowest levels found in the River were recorded in this section. Average and maximum levels are below acceptable maximum.
Sodium
(mg/L)
Value not established 6.10 5.34 6.73 Sodium is not found in excess.
Aluminium
(mg/L) a
0.005 to 0.100
(acceptable range)
0.0478 0.0010 0.1190 Average level are below acceptable maximum. Local sources of higher levels have not been determined.
Copper
(mg/L) a
0.002 to 0.004
(acceptable range)
0.0007 0.0005 0.0009 Levels are below acceptable maximum.
Iron
(mg/L) a
0.3 0.0379 0.0249 0.0779 Levels are below acceptable maximum.
Dissolved Oxygen
(mg/L) a
5 to 9.5
(acceptable range)
8.62 7.16 11.64 Average level is within acceptable range. Higher values were recorded during the day in areas with beds of healthy aquatic plants.
E. coli (CFU/100 ml) b 200 3.6 2.0 24.0 Average and maximum levels are below acceptable maximum.
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, Jacqueline Madill