Municipal Affairs and Environment

WQMA Contours

In order to understand water quality, it is very useful to display data in a visual manner. Because environmental data is also inherently spatial in nature (i.e. it varies geographically and due to environmental conditions), viewing the data in a way which displays this geographical variation is of particular use. For example, seeing where different water quality parameters are higher in concentrations can help explain causes and sources of contaminants. To this end, contour maps of each of the water quality parameters sampled under the WQMA were prepared. A contour map displays regions, each of which represents a constant value for a particular parameter. These regions are approximations based on average recorded values at WQMA sites for all data collected between1985-2000. While these maps are based on average values, and hence do not give us detailed information about the parameters, they can give us a general idea of what is influencing their concentrations across the province. As the maps will be updated every five years with new data, they will also be of use in identifying trends over time. Looking at these summary maps is faster and easier than doing extensive detailed analysis of the raw water quality data, and actually helps to focus analysis directly on areas of concern. The maps are available in Adobe PDF format, and their links are shown below. The files are approximately 500Kb each.

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Physical and Chemical Parameters Major Ions Nutrients Trace Elements and Metals
Alkalinity Calcium (Ca) Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) Aluminum (Al)
Colour Chloride (Cl) Nitrogen (N) Arsenic (As)
Conductivity Fluoride (F) Phosphorous (P) Barium (Ba)
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Magnesium (Mg) Silica (Si) Beryllium (Be)
pH Potassium (K) Cadmium (Cd)
Turbidity Sodium (Na) Cobalt (Co)
Water Temperature Sulphate (SO4) Chromium (Cr)
    Copper (Cu)
    Iron (Fe)
    Lead (Pb)
      Lithium (Li)
      Manganese (Mn)
      Mercury (Hg)
      Molybdenum (Mo)
      Nickel (Ni)
      Selenium (Extractable) (Se)
      Strontium (Sr)
    Vanadium (V)
      Zinc (Zn)

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