A on a rainy day you can see … over a meter deep!

Published: October 17, 2019

During Wednesday’s (Oct. 17, 2019) downpour, SRA’s intrepid water quality monitoring volunteers were out collecting data at 41 locations in the Severn River and they recorded some of the best we’ve seen all summer.

Despite the rain, there was a remarkable amount of clarity in the water.

The highest clarity was found at The Narrows at a value of 1.61 m. Most of the WQ stations visited measured above 1.0 m for clarity.

Some exceptions: Indian Landing at 0.5 m, Plum Creek at 0.90 m and Chase Creek #1 at 0.68 m.

More good news: The dead zone is retreating.

During the zone’s heyday this summer, we were recording horrible dissolved oxygen (DO).

DO values of 2 mg/L or less are considered a dead zone for most fish, crabs and oysters.

The worst were found in Round Bay, averaging around 0.06 mg/L at the bottom.

But on Wednesday (Oct. 16), the worst value collected was at Round Bay Palisades: 1.58 mg/L at a 4m depth.

At our Round Bay South Station, which typically has the worst readings, we found 4.06 mg/L at the bottom (8 m).

The highest reading on the bottom of the river was taken at Eagle’s Nest Point with a value of 8.90 mg/L at a depth of 2.5m. Many of the sites had fairly homogeneous readings throughout the water column.

And more good news: Salinity is back to normal! Most the river had a salinity in the range of 11-12 psu, a huge recovery from the 4-5 psu range in the past 18 months. Credit the drought for helping return the river’s salinity to normal.

–Izzie Ketcham, SRA Field Investigator