USGS Chester County Monitoring / Studies

Since 1969, The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has had a cooperative water-resources program with Chester County to measure and describe the water resources in the County. Cooperation has been primarily with the Chester County Water Resources Authority (CCWRA), with participation from the Chester County Health Department and the Chester County Department of Emergency Services. This partnership between USGS and Chester County, PA, provides the County with the information that it needs for sound water-resources management.

For an overview of the monitoring programs, view a slideshow: USGS Monitoring in Chester County. This slide show includes information on the stream gages, precipitation gages, bacteria and benthic macroinvertabrate monitoring, water quality and biological trends, sediment-turbidity relation and the groundwater monitoring network.

Stream Flow Gages
The U.S. Geological Survey maintains 17 stations to measure the flow of Chester County streams.

Stream Conditions Monitoring
This program evaluates stream ecology and water-quality conditions using benthic macroinvertebrates and stream-water chemistry. The Stream Conditions of Chester County Program has sampled streams every fall for over 40 years.

Surface Water Quality Monitoring
During the spring, summer and fall months, surface-water quality is monitored at multiple sites in Chester County. The parameters monitored include specific conductance, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. Turbidity is monitored at 6 stations in Chester County.

Ground Water Monitoring Network
Chester County has one of the most robust county-wide water-level observation-well networks in Pennsylvania. Since 1973, water levels have been measured monthly in a network of 20 wells. An additional 7 wells have been added in recent years to provide a more spatially complete network.

Precipitation Gages
Ten of the stations that the USGS collects data from for stream flows in or near Chester County are also equipped with precipitation gages. These gages provide data in 15-minute increments and these data are available on the Internet within a few hours of being collected.

USGS Chester County Studies
Since the 1969, USGS and Chester County have undertaken dozens of water resources studies and investigations in Chester County. Reports and maps from many of these studies are available online at the USGS Chester County Studies web page.
Chambers Lake, located on the Birch Run, supports water use in the greater Coatesville area