Real-Time Water Quality

CVC Monitors Water Health in Real-Time

What is Water Quality?

Water quality describes the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water in our streams, rivers and lakes. Measurements of water quality can be used to indicate the general health of our natural environment, including plant and animal life and our most important natural resource, our drinking water.

In order to ensure optimum health of our waterways, help safeguard the sources of our drinking water, and sustain the natural areas enhancing our communities and quality of life, CVC has started a real-time water quality monitoring program that provides instant readings of the health of our watercourses.

Our Real-Time Stations

Funded by the Region of Peel’s Climate Change Program, there are currently 11 stations continuously collecting critical information on the health of the watercourses, including water temperature, clarity, pH, and oxygen in water.

An alarm is automatically triggered if any of the water quality readings fall out of the permissible range. CVC staff, after receiving the alarm, investigate possible causes of the alarm and coordinate with partnering agencies, such as the Ministry of Environment, etc.

The data collected in real-time at the water quality monitoring stations is fed to a central computer and regularly analysed.  The data is shared with watershed municipalities and ministries (MOE, MNR, DFO, and EC). This vigorous monitoring of water quality enables Credit Valley Conservation Authority and its partners to:

  • Instantaneously inform of any changes in water quality;
  • Detect spills and abnormal discharges and respond effectively;
  • Monitor sediment losses associated with construction activities;
  • Evaluate longer term changes in water quality in response to changing land use;
  • Assist in the interpretation of water quality observations obtained through grab sampling;
  • Monitor stream temperature response to climate variability and climate change;
  • Observe diurnal and seasonal changes in stream water quality;
  • Monitor variability and trends in chloride levels attributable to changes in road salting activity;
  • Estimate annual suspended sediment and chloride loadings to Lake Ontario;
  • Identify existing or emerging water quality problems;
  • Prioritize pollution prevention; and
  • Help to ensure public confidence in the quality of water in their community. 

Clean waterways provide places to swim and fish, a safe source for our drinking water and a healthy environment for all living things.

Where are the real-time stations and how do they work?

CVC currently has 11 real-time water quality stations in operation. Four are located on the main CreditRiver, five on the tributaries of the CreditRiver and the remaining two on the creeks discharging directly into LakeOntario. The map and table below show the location of each station and the reason for its selection.

We are currently upgrading our data management system to bring data collected at the real-time water quality stations on-line. Stay tuned.

real time water quality stations  



Installation Date

Basis for Site Selection

Credit River

Downstream of Old Derry Road

February 2010

Representative of water quality in the Credit River upstream of the any major urban tributaries joining the river

Cooksville Creek

Downstream of King Street

September 2010

Representative of water quality of a highly urbanized watershed developed without storm water management practices.

Credit River

Mississauga Golf and Country Club

March 2011

Representative of water quality at the mouth of the Credit River prior to flowing into Lake Ontario.

Fletcher’s Creek

Upstream of Second Line

July 2011

Representative of water quality of a rapidly urbanizing watershed with storm water management system.

Credit River

Downstream of Orangeville

August 2012

Representative of water quality in the headwaters of the Credit River, downstream of the Town of Orangeville and Island Lake.

Huttonville Creek

Lionhead Golf and Country Club

September 2013

Representative of an urbanizing watershed with predominantly residential development

Silver Creek

Willow Park

September 2013

Representative of a mixed land use watershed with diverse physiographic features. Acton and Georgetown developments fall in this watershed

Credit River

Forks of the CreditProvincialPark

October 2013

Representative of the Credit River’s water quality as it leaves upper part (above the escarpments) of the Credit River watershed.

West Credit River

Belfountain Conservation Area

October 2013

Representative of West Credit River water quality down stream of Erin and Hillsburg townships. A significant portion of this sub-watershed is under agricultural land cover

Levi Creek

Downstream of Derry Road

November 2013

Representative of an urbanizing watershed with predominantly industrial development

Sheridan Creek

Downstream of Clarkson Road

November 2013

Representative of an urbanized watershed draining into the provincially significant wetland Rattray Marsh.


Each station measures the following water quality characteristics or parameters:

  •  Temperature: air temperature & water temperature
  • dissolved oxygen (oxygen in water)
  • pH
  • conductivity and chloride
  • turbidity
  • water level
  • precipitation (one site)

Check our Water Quality Parameters page for definitions and why they’re important to water quality.

Figure 2: Flow chart showing the functioning of a real-time station.

flood station equipment

The data collected from real-time water quality stations is valuable for CVC’s monitoring strategy as long-term information may provide insights for climate change related work, diurnal variations in various water characteristics, detection of spills, abnormal water clarity issues, and seasonal variations in chloride concentrations. All of this information will allow us to judge the health of the aquatic ecosystems in our watershed and neighbourhoods.

COVID-19 related service changes
Data and information released from Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) are provided on an 'AS IS' basis, without warranty of any kind, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

Availability of this data and information does not constitute scientific publication. Data and/or information may contain errors or be incomplete. CVC and its employees make no representation or warranty, express or implied, including without limitation any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or warranties as to the identity or ownership of data or information, the quality, accuracy or completeness of data or information, or that the use of such data or information will not infringe any patent, intellectual property or proprietary rights of any party. CVC shall not be liable for any claim for any loss, harm, illness or other damage or injury arising from access to or use of data or information, including without limitation any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, special or consequential damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

In accordance with scientific standards, appropriate acknowledgment of CVC should be made in any publications or other disclosures concerning data or information made available by CVC.