Focus on….water quality monitoring

21.05.14 mh Pen y Cymoedd Site 9

When we propose new wind energy projects, people have a lot of questions. It’s a new technology, and local residents want to be sure that important issues are tackled properly. A site like Pen y Cymoedd in construction is chance for us to share our work with you, and show how these issues are dealt with in a real life context. In this “Focus On” blog section this is exactly what we will try and do, by delving into a little more detail on key issues. Today, it’s water quality monitoring.

Turbidity – what is it?

Turbidity is a word that refers to cloudiness in water, and it is created by the presence of suspended particles of silt, clay and other particulate materials. It is an important measurement in monitoring water quality onsite, and we have six monitoring stations across our working area that take continuous recordings.

Rain and turbidity

Rainfall is a key influence on turbidity so when we test and monitor, site specific rainfall data is used to understand the data. High rainfall will generally correlate with high turbidity, but high turbidity with low rainfall will warrant further investigation to establish where the sediment has come from. Construction activities; felling operations and historic mining works are all potential sources.

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What else is monitored?

As well as Turbidity, Electrical Conductivity and Fluorescent Dissolved Organic Matter (fDOM) are also continually being monitored. Acreoss the site, monthly water samples are also collected and sent to a local laboratory for analysis and to cross reference with the continuous monitoring.

Visual checks of on-site drainage features and mitigation measures are, as a minimum, done daily to make sure any issues are reported and dealt with quickly if needed.

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The next “Focus On” will look at construction of foundations in detail and some of the testing that is completed….