FloatLab is measuring the water around NYC in preparation for the launch of +Pool. Play with the modules below to learn more
Enterococcus (Entero), which is the EPA’s standard indicator for sewage contamination. The color will change from blue to brown depending on how “good” or “bad” the water quality was. This is the only parameter that isn’t real-time, as it takes 24 hours for results to come back from the lab. The Entero color block will read: “Yesterday was good,” and will change to “decent,” “not good” and “bad” as the amount of Entero in the river increases. + POOL will be filtering Entero down to levels safe for swimming. Anything below 60 counts per 100mL is considered acceptable, and anything above 60 is not.
Air temperature is (obviously) one of the biggest things that affects water temperature. It’s also just super interesting to compare the two. Either way, this is way more fun to check than a weather website.
Water temperature has a huge affect on water quality. Generally, bacteria tend to grow more rapidly in warm waters. Colder water contains more oxygen, and warmer waters holds more dissolved solids. Keep in mind: 66-72º is the sweet spot for swimming.
Oxygen concentrations in the water are closely connected to biological activities. Surface waters are typically in equilibrium with the atmosphere such that the oxygen concentration near the surface is close to fully saturated (100%).
Rainfall is one of the biggest indicators of water quality. After a heavy rainfall, the CSOs (Combined Sewer Outfalls) discharges raw sewage and polluted storm water from 460 CSOs at a rate of more than 27 billion gallons a year into New York Harbor. As little as one-twentieth of an inch of rain can overload the system. In general, you should avoid substantial contact with the river 48-72 hours after a heavy rain.
This shows how far below the surface of the water the sonde (YSI) is at any given time, which will correspond with the change of tides (that can range from 0 to 4 feet).
Estuaries like the Hudson are where freshwaters in rivers meet the sea. Salinity tells us about the relative contribution of fresh and salt water within a particular region of the estuary.
Turbidity is a measure of the amount of fine particles suspended in the water. As turbidity rises, light penetration, a key factor for aquatic plants and algae, diminishes.
A measure of the amount of microscopic algae present in the water. High chlorophyll counts can mean high levels of the nutrients phosphorus and nitrogen, and the threat, or presence, of algae blooms.