Wetlands, streams and ponds are natural resources that are fundamental to the health of the environment and the organisms that live in it. The quality of these resources affects the food we eat and the water we drink. Eventually, stream water discharges either into the ground or into lake Ontario – both resources from which we take our drinking water. Poor water quality means poor health and unsustainable habitat for sensitive organisms. The six important characteristics of water quality are:
- turbidity (having suspended sediments)
- nutrients (the content of nitrogen and phosphorous)
- oxygen (the content of oxygen)
- temperature (the warmer the water the less oxygen it contains)
- bacteria (microscopic organisms that can pose a health threat)
- toxic contaminants (contamination that is damaging to biological communities)
Learning about and understanding the characteristics of water quality will give you the necessary tools to assess and address issues pertaining to water on your property. Water issues, such as the growth of algae blooms, can have negative ecological, aesthetic and health repercussions. If you are interested in learning about water quality in the Credit Valley watershed, check out the Credit Valley Watershed Report Card in the downloads section below.
Contact a CVC stewardship coordinator to discuss water stewardship goals and initiatives.