1999 EPA Wetland Program Development Grant

"Enhancing the Role of Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
in the Spring Creek Watershed"


Enhancing the Role of Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in the Spring Creek Watershed

Centre Regional Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive, State College, Pennsylvania 16801
(814) 231-3071

Project Managers: Denee C. Sudano and Cheryl J. Lipton
EPA Project Manager: Alva Brunner
EPA Quality Assurance Manager: Charles Jones

Management Approvals:

Signature indicates that this QAPP is approved and will be implemented in conducting the research of this project.

Ronald J. Woodhead, Director Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority

Project Managers and/or Principal Investigators:
Signature indicates commitment to follow the procedures in this QAPP:

Roxanne Shiels, ClearWater Conservancy, Project Manager, Watershed Coordinator, Principle Investigator
Cheryl J. Lipton, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Project Manager
Denee Sudano Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Project Manager
Kristen Saacke-Blunk, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Site Coordinato

Quality Assurance:

Signature indicates that this QAPP meets the quality requirements of the EPA.
Charles Jones, Quality Assurance Officer

Table of Contents

Management Approvals 2
Distribution List 4
Task Organization 4
Background 5
Task Description 5
Quality Objectives and Criteria for Measurement Data 6
Special Training 6
Documentation and Records 6
Sampling Process Design 6
Sampling Methods 7
Sample Handling and Custody 11
Analytical Methods 11
Quality Control 11
Equipment Testing, Inspection, and Maintenance 11
Instrument Calibration and Frequency 12
Inspection/Acceptance for Supplies 12
Data Acquisition (Non-direct Measurements) 12
Data Management 12
Assessments and Response Actions 12
Reports to Management 12

A3 - Distribution List

Robert P. Brooks, Penn State Cooperative Wetland Center
The Clearwater Conservancy
Cheryl J. Lipton, Project Manager, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
Kristen Saacke-Blunk, Site Coordinator, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
Roxanne Shiels, Watershed Coordinator Spring Creek Watershed Community and ClearWater Conservancy
Denee Sudano, Project Manager, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
Ronald J. Woodhead, Director, Centre Region Parks and Recreation

A4 - Task Organization

The staff of Centre Region Parks and Recreation and members of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Advisory Committee are vitally tied to the success of this wetlands protection project. We have consulted and cooperated with various established agencies and environmental organizations, including ClearWater Conservancy and The Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center, in order to gain advice and practical guidelines for the "Enhancing the Role of Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in the Spring Creek Watershed" project.

The Spring Creek Watershed Commission will assist in this project module because it is identified specifically in the organization’s strategic goals and supported by their mission. The Spring Creek Watershed Commission has a number of professional volunteers who are committed to protecting the natural resources of our area and will help to keep the project costs to a minimum. Both The Spring Creek Watershed Commission and Centre Region Parks and Recreation have excellent records of utilizing volunteer efforts.

The project manager for the Water Resources Monitoring Project is Roxanne Shiels, the Watershed Coordinator for the Spring Creek Watershed Community and the ClearWater Conservancy. The project manager is responsible for performing the sampling and maintaining the sites, creating and maintaining the data base, and providing the annual report and data, upon request, to interested stakeholders and contributors.

Centre Region Parks and Recreation will work with Roxanne Shiels, the Watershed Commission’s staff member and designated Project Manager for the water resource monitoring project component. Together, the two organizations will provide the continuity for the project ensuring that all obligations are met in a timely manner. In addition, the following will provide for accountability of project implementation:

An Oversight Committee, consisting of dedicated water quality professionals and members of the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center working within the Spring Creek Watershed Commission, will oversee the technical aspects of the project.

The Watershed Commission will provide an annual report to its contributors, ensuring that funds are being spent for the said purpose.

The ClearWater Conservancy, will assist in overseeing the project. The Conservancy, founded in 1980, has successfully administered numerous projects throughout its history.

The Water Resources Monitoring Committee is comprised of industry, academic, regulatory, and consulting professionals from the local community who volunteer their time and expertise to provide technical oversight and to perform work tasks, as necessary, for the project. Committee members include:

David Smith (Chair), Plant Superintendent, University Area Joint (Sewer) Authority
Robert Carline, Ph.D. (Vice-chair), Adjunct Professor and Leader of Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Penn State University
Andrew Cole, Ph.D., Research Associate, Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center
Jim DeWolfe, Environmental Engineer, Sear Brown
Scott Harrison, Agricultural/Environmental Scientist and Chemist, Centre Analytical Laboratories
Bert Lavan, Senior Process Engineer, Corning Asahi Video Products
Gene Proch, Environmental Affairs Manager, Corning Asahi Video Products
John Sengle, Water Quality Specialist, PaDEP
Rick Wardrop, Hydrogeologist and Industrial Contaminant Specialist, USFilter
Jason Wert, Environmental Engineer, Herbert, Rowland, and Grubic

A5 - Background

The Water Resources Monitoring Project was designed and is managed by an action group of the Spring Creek Watershed Community, now known as the Water Resources Monitoring Committee. Since January 1998, the Water Resources Monitoring Committee of the Spring Creek Watershed Community has been working to establish a monitoring network of 12 sites throughout the Spring Creek watershed "to provide a reasonably accurate description of the quantity and quality of surface waters that will (1) allow for relatively rapid detection of changes in quality and (2) be sufficiently sensitive to permit identification of causes for these changes." Two monitoring sites will be established in Millbrook Marsh.

A6 - Task Description

Specific tasks to be completed during 1999 include: establishing a written sampling and analysis protocol; creating rating curves to relate water level to stream discharge; raising funds for years 2000 and 2001 of the project; and preparing and distributing an annual report which will include the first year of water quality data. The Committee is also developing a detailed written monitoring network plan that will assure that there will be adequate quality control according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) standards, efficient collection of data, and consistency among collection methodology from sampling period to period.

The monitoring project will create a database of professionally accepted data using limited financial resources and maximizing volunteer labor. Monitoring stations are strategically located to collect data from sub-basins with differing or changing land use characteristics. Water levels and temperature data are being collected continuously with automated equipment, stored in computer dataloggers, and downloaded monthly for incorporation into the database. Grab samples will be collected monthly and sent to a DEP certified laboratory for analyses of essential quality parameters indicative of land use impacts to surface water:

Total Nitrogen
Total Suspended Solids
Total Organic Carbon
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons

These data will be used to establish baseline conditions in the Spring Creek watershed and to link changes in condition to specific sub-basins. Once created, the raw data will be available for public review and use. An annual report of activities and findings will be provided to project supporters automatically and to watershed stakeholders who request it.

New instrumentation of 6 and partial instrumentation of 4 monitoring stations- A comparison of different equipment types was performed and models were selected. Two will be purchased to measure water level and temperature on a continual basis in Millbrook Marsh. Two new stilling wells will be placed and outfitted with instruments including a water level recorder (WaterLog submersible logger, pressure transducer by H2OFX), a staff gage to manually record water level, and a temperature monitor (RL100 temperature monitor by Ryan Instruments).

Proposed Tasks of the Water Resource Monitoring Project related to Millbrook Marsh:

Monthly sampling and laboratory analyses of surface water from the 2 monitoring stations
Place 2 stilling wells in Millbrook Marsh and install instruments.
Establish a written sampling and analysis protocol
Design and develop an Access (Microsoft) database for data management
Create "rating curves" for each monitoring station that relate water level to stream discharge for the purpose of calculating loading rates of chemical parameters
Prepare and distribute an annual report of project activities and findings

A7 - Quality Objectives and Criteria for Measurement Data

Preliminary Data Quality Objectives for the project are being developed.

A8 - Special Training

The project manager, trained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, will train volunteers and watershed interns for the Water Resource Monitoring Project.

A9 - Documentation and Records

Database options are being explored by the Monitoring Committee. Microsoft Access will be used as the general purpose database because of its widespread availability. Other software is being investigated in order to provide limited statistical analysis and graphical representation of data trends in the most effective and efficient manner. Arcview is being considered as a link to Access and also for use in Internet access to the database. The Water Resources Monitoring Committee is currently working with a staff member and graduate student from Entomology at Penn State to determine if their technology would be suitable for the purposes of the project.

B1 - Sampling Process Design

A pilot water quality sampling effort was conducted April 6 for four of the twelve monitoring stations. DEP assisted with the sampling to help establish the methodology in which samples are collected, filtered, preserved, and transported that meet standard DEP procedures. Modifications to the sampling procedures will be made, as necessary, if any recommendations are made by the DEP laboratory. A finalized systematic approach to sample collection and handling, in accordance with approved EPA methodology, will be written for future sampling efforts.

The two stations located in Millbrook Marsh were chosen because they reflect the affects of urban stormwater compared to agricultural runoff stormwater. Chemical parameters were chosen on the basis of whether they would be good indicators of agricultural or urban influence. Committee members also decided upon parameters that would be indicators of non point source pollution Efficiency and funding limitations were taken into consideration also. Monthly grab samples will be taken. Field measurements monthly include D.O., pH, and temperature. Water levels will be recorded continuously, on a twice hourly basis. Temperature readings will be automatically recorded hourly.

Types of samples required:

Chlorides - no fix
Total Suspended Solids - no fix
Turbidity - no fix
Nitrate - H2SO4 pH<2
Orthophosphate - H2SO4 pH<2
Total Organic Carbon - H2SO4 pH<2
Total Zinc - HNO3 pH<2
Total Copper - HNO3 pH<2
Total Lead - HNO3 pH<2
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons - glass foil cap H2SO4 pH<2
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons - unfixed filtered
Dissolved Nitrate - H2SO4 pH<2 field filtered
Dissolved Nitrate - unfixed filtered
Dissolved Orthophosphate - H2SO4 pH<2 field filtered
Dissolved Organic Carbon - H2SO4 pH<2 field filtered
Dissolved Zinc - HNO3 pH<2 field filtered
Dissolved Copper - HNO3 pH<2 field filtered
Dissolved Lead - HNO3 pH<2 field filtered

B2 - Sampling Methods

All containers used are new, as required by the DEP. Sample volumes and preservation methods are specified by DEP. Maximum holding times correspond to common standard laboratory requirements.

Planning and preparation for water quality monitoring is as follows:

A written methodology and data management protocol was established for downloading the data from the water level recorders. Methods for fixing and filtering samples were also investigated and were tested during an April 6 pilot sampling period. Note: Data provided by a community monitoring effort cannot be used for enforcement actions against regulated entities, regardless of the laboratory performing the testing.

Sampling Protocol

Materials Per site:

1 500ml plastic bottle
1 500ml glass bottle
5 125ml plastic bottles
pH meter
dissolved oxygen meter
10% solution of HNO3 and H2SO4
40 micron filter paper
deionized water
filter handpump
field filter
disposable pipettes
wide masking tape and black permanent marker
Liquinox cleaner
disposable gloves
litmus paper
WRM Field Notebook
data sheets
shipping labels
laptop computer w/ cables (2) (to download WaterGen and Temp data)
trash bag (for used pipettes, gloves, filter paper)
ziplock bag for data sheets
keys for the waterloggers (they are enclosed in large, locked, plastic, cylindrical units next to the stream at each site.)
keys for the storage facility



(5) 125 ml plastic
(1) 500ml plastic
(1) or (3) 500 ml glass bottle*

*A triplicate is required for every 10 or less samples taken, so on each sampling day, a triplicate sample is needed with the glass bottles at the first site.


Step 1. Label all bottles with:

User code (4476)
Sequence code (first site is 1, then 2, etc.-check field notebook for last number used- the numbers continue after each sampling period.)
Site identification (2-3 letter code)
Time of sample (military time)
The fixation chemical (if any) - on the lid as well as the side of the bottle (The 125ml plastic bottle lids and the black glass lids are not labeled)

Step 2. Label 125ml bottles

Label three 125ml bottles "filtered"
Label one with "H2SO4"
Label one with "HNO3"
The third bottle does not receive a fixative.
Two 125 ml bottles will not be filtered
Label one with "H2SO4"
Label one with "HNO3"

Step 3. Label 500ml glass bottles with H2SO4

Data sheets will be filled out for each site. General information items are included in the "Fixed" box at the top left of the data sheet, the collector ID number (4476), the reason code (02), the cost center code (064), the program code (02), the STD Analysis Code (0926), the Matrix Code (001), and "How shipped," (US Cargo). The other items, filled out at the sampling site include the sequence number, the date collected, the time collected, the collector's name and phone number, the sampling location (2-3 letter abbreviation), the Stream Name, the Temperature and the Dissolved Oxygen reading, and the gage height in meters. The carbon copy of each data sheet is placed in a plastic ziplock bag along with the samples from its site. The other copy is placed in the WRM notebook. A copy of the data sheet is attached to the end of this protocol for reference.


Step 1.

At each site, there will be a total of seven samples collected, with the exception of the first site of each sampling day, in which there will be 3 samples taken in the glass bottles, for a total of nine samples. Of the five 125 ml bottles, two will be filled at the stream, unfiltered. The remaining three will contain filtered water, so the water is collected in an unlabeled 500 ml plastic bottle, filtered, and placed in these three bottles after the filtering.

The bottles will be labeled with the site identification number, the 3 letter abbreviation for the site, the date and time, the chemical (if any) with which the sample will be fixed, and "filtered" if the sample is to be filtered. Two of the 125ml bottles will be fixed with H2SO4and two will be fixed with HNO3. The chemical will be labeled on both the lid and the side of the bottle. The glass bottles will be fixed with HNO3, and will be labeled only on the sides.

Step 2.

Water will be collected from the middle of the stream to limit stream bank influence. The collection point will be within flowing water and not in a stagnant area. Sediment upstream from the collection point will not be disturbed.

Step 3.

The bottle will be held open end down in the water and pushed to the bottom of the water column without touching the bottom. As the bottle is pulled to the top of the water column, the open end will be pointed toward the current. The bottle will be filled as it nears the surface of the water, so that the sample represents the entire water column (from stream floor to the surface). A small amount of air space will be left at the lip of the bottle. All bottles will be capped and preparation to begin the filtering and chemical fixation process will begin.


Step 1. Filter paper
Filter paper will be removed carefully with tweezers and placed in the filter.
Step 2. Filter

250ml of water will be added from the unlabeled 500ml plastic bottle to the filter. The top and pump gun will be attached. The trigger on the gun will be squeezed repeatedly until all of the water has passed through the filter paper into the bottom compartment of the filter making sure that no air bubbles form as the water is being filtered. It may be necessary to replace the filter numerous times if the sample contains a large amount of suspended solids. The pressure in the gun will be released, using the small handle in front of the trigger. The hose which attaches the gun to the filter, and the cap covering the hole on the opposite side will be removed. The filtered water will be poured into the three 125 ml bottles marked "filtered."

Step 3. Cleaning the filter:

The filter will be thoroughly cleaned between each site to prevent contamination among water samples. The filter will be disassembled and all parts washed with Liqui-Nox, a phosphate-free liquid detergent. All parts will be rinsed with de-ionized water until no soap bubbles remain. The unlabeled plastic 500ml bottle used to collect water for filtration will be cleaned as well.

Chemical Fixing:

One pipette will be used for H2SO4 and a new one for HNO3. A pair of latex gloves will be worn.

Step 1. H2SO4:

A 5ml pipette will be filled with H2SO4 and added to the 500ml labeled glass bottle. 2ml of H2SO4 will be added to both of the 125ml bottles labeled H2SO4.

Step 2. HNO3: Next, 2ml of HNO3 will be added to both the 125ml bottles labeled HNO3. The pH of the solution well be below 2.

The pH of the samples will be tested after shaking, with litmus paper to be sure the acid is strong enough.

The pipettes, gloves, and used filter paper will be discarded in a plastic bag.

Packaging Samples:

When samples have been collected and chemically fixed, they will be placed in a Thermos cooler. Two sample sites will fit in one cooler along with a 5 pound bag of ice. Each information sheet will be placed in a ziplock bag and placed in the cooler with its respective samples.

pH reading: at each site, a pH reading will be taken with the pH meter.

D.O. reading: at each site, the cap will be taken off of the D.O. meter stick, and placed in the current where the water is not being disturbed by the collection process. The knob will be set to 0.1 mg/L for the D.O. content, and then will be turned to "temp" for the temperature reading.

Waterlogger Data Collection:

At each site, information will be downloaded onto the laptop computer using the DH21 Waterlog program. First, the connection between the computer and the instrument in the field will be established. The DOS prompt will be entered and "cd\WATERLOG" typed in. At the next prompt "WATERGEN" will be typed in. The instructions in the program will be followed to extract the data. The data collection will be started again once the downloading is complete.

Temperature Monitor Collection:

The temperature will be recorded from the RL100 instruments. The program used will be the Ryan software, which is found under the icon which says "RLSoft." Again, the instrument will be connected to the laptop computer and the prompts to download the temperature information followed.

A reading from the staff gage located in the water at each site will be taken. This will correspond to the pressure reading from the computer program. All gages are in terms of meters. Gage height will included in the WRM notebook and on the data sheets.

WRM notebook:

For each site, the ID and sequence number, the date and time, 2-3 letter site abbreviation, the pH of the water, DO content in mg/L, temperature, and staff gage reading will be recorded.

Consistency will be emphasized, not only from site to site, but from one sampling period to the next. Samples and readings will be taken from the same location at each sampling site.

B3 - Sample Handling and Custody

Once samples have been collected and chemically fixed, they will be placed in a Thermos cooler. Two sample sites will fit in one cooler along with a 5 pound bag of ice. The coolers will be taken to Stowaway Storage located off of Route 26 (East College Ave.) for pick-up by US Cargo for Department of Environmental Protection laboratory chemical analysis. Pick up occurs every 24 hours, aproximately 7pm, and taken directly to the Harrisburg lab.

Standard, approved, accepted methodology, in accordance with approved EPA methodology, will be adopted in the sample handling and custody at all times.

B4 - Analytical Methods

Five laboratories were contacted for analytical services resulting in the selection of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). All analysis of water samples will be done by DEP except Dissolved Oxygen, pH, temperature, and water level. Standard, approved, accepted analytical methods such as those used at the DEP and the Penn State CWC will be in effect.

B5 - Quality Control

Quality assurance and quality control are very important in this project. DEP will forward the requirements regarding quality control, which will then be included in this QAPP. The data collected will be compatible with that collected by CWC, DEP, and EPA personnel. All training will stress this fact. Everyone working with raw environmental data in any capacity will be trained and periodically supervised by the project manager and watershed coordinator, Roxanne Shiels. A written list of protocols will be provided.

B6 - Equipment Testing, Inspection, and Maintenance

All equipment will be inspected and stored properly, according to instructions for each instrument. The Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) meter is visually inspected at each sampling. The D.O. meter is stored in a casing that has a wet sponge near the membrane to create a saturated environment. The pH meter is stored appropriately in a solution of pH electrode storage solution which consists of KClKH2PO4, Potassium phosphate mono basic deionized H2O and Sodium phosphate di basic Na2HPO4. The water level monitor is checked against a staff gauge on a monthly basis. The Temperature monitor is checked against the temperature reading from the D.O. monitor.

B7 - Instrument Calibration and Frequency

Temperature monitors are calibrated a by the manufacturer with a 3 year life (disposable unit). D.O. and pH monitors are calibrated at the beginning of a field day, every 6 readings. The pH is calibrated with pH 4 and pH 7 buffered solutions. D.O. is calibrated according to air temperature. All manufacturers procedures are followed for calibration.

B8 - Inspection/Acceptance for Supplies and Consumables

Bottles are sent directly from Fischer Scientific and Qorpak, which were specified by the DEP based on DEP acceptability. Upon arrival they are inspected and accepted by the project manager.

B9 - Data Acquisition (Non-direct Measurements)

Not Applicable

B10 - Data Management

All locational data is indicated on all samples and information sheets as in the WRM notebook. DEP Lab results are sent via e-mail to the project manager. The water quality data are submitted by DEP lab via email to CWC and then stored electronically in a file folder with paper copies in a 3 ring notebook. Input into Access database is by hand and then potentially this data will be available on the Internet. Raw data will be available as well as basic trends analysis providing general trends. Analysis procedures are still being investigated.

Data from the Water level recorder is kept on disk and also recorded in the equipment. Data is downloaded first onto disks and then into specific software that was provided with the equipment. The software will be incorporated into Access. Temperature data is downloaded to disk and then to Access database.

C1 - Assessments and Response Actions

Investigation is ongoing regarding which data quality evaluations should be used. Data will be assessed and outliers removed when necessary.

C2 - Reports to Management

The project manager, Roxanne Sheils, is directly responsible for all parts of the Water Quality Monitoring Project, including fieldwork. Monitoring of volunteers is constant. The manager is always in the field overseeing the process as well as providing guidance in the office. The Quality Assurance Project Officer is John Sengle, Water Quality Specialist from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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