Municipal Affairs and Environment

Description and History

The Water Resources Management Division (WRMD) established the first near real time water quality (RTWQ) monitoring station on Leary’s Brook in St. John’s on November 5, 2001. This was implemented as a pilot station to test the feasibility of acquiring water quality information in a near real time mode.

Presently, this network consists of numerous stations across Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial network consists of base stations on critical provincial water bodies and select stations used mainly for research purposes. The industry stations are those established in the vicinity of select industrial operations in partnership between the WRMD, Environment Canada and various industries.

List of RTWQ Stations in Newfoundland and Labrador

The objective of this RTWQ monitoring network is to provide near real time water quality information for selected water bodies throughout the province. The continuous collection of water quality data can be used to monitor the health of aquatic ecosystems, establish trends and determine when specific events occurred. Essentially, this information is needed by the WRMD to implement its regulatory mandate. It will also be beneficial to the general public, environmental awareness groups, other government organizations, and the private sector.


The instruments are capable of directly measuring the following water quality parameters:

The instruments use the above directly measured parameters to compute the following parameters:

The RTWQ stations are located in conjunction with Hydrometric stations so near real time streamflow and climate information is also available.

The RTWQ stations are programmed to sample the water quality every hour with the exception of urban sites like Leary's Brook which is sampled more frequently. Every hour the RTWQ stations transmit this information through satellite to a central repository in Maryland, USA. Water quality data is retrieved from this central repository every hour starting at 12:45am using the province’s Automatic Data Retrieval System (ADRS), which automatically collects, processes and displays this information. A graphic depicting the system is available.


Provisional Near Real time Water Quality and Streamflow Data displayed on these pages are obtained from a network of gauges maintained under the Provincial RTWQ monitoring program and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Hydrometric Network Agreement. Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited looks after the routine operational maintenance of the three stations in Labrador.

Due to the volume and frequent updating of the data available on this Web site the Water Quality and Streamflow data is PROVISIONAL and has not undergone quality control checks. These data may be subject to significant change. Some of the factors that may affect the stage-discharge relationship and other water quality measurements include:

  • backwater from ice or debris jams
  • sediment movement or erosion
  • malfunction of sensors, recording or transmission equipment
  • loss of calibration
  • fouling of sensors
  • removal of instruments for maintenance

Data are reviewed on a regular basis by WRMD personnel to ensure accuracy. Each station record is considered PROVISIONAL until the data has undergone Quality Assurance/Quality Control.

Before using this data in making decisions that concern personal or public safety, substantial monetary expenditures, or other operational consequences, users must carefully consider the provisional nature of the information.

Information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data or concerning other hydrologic data may be obtained by contacting WRMD at or by calling (709) 729-2563.

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