By Shannon Dunnigan
Don’t you hate it when things break? Us, too.
We have been noticing signs that one of our SWMP water quality stations was likely broken for a few weeks. Also praying, at the same time, that our suspicions were wrong-they weren’t (did you see our beard post??). Our San Sebastian SWMP station had a broken housing, which meant that the protective tube that surrounds our deployed instruments was no longer functioning as it should!
All of the data sondes used in the SWMP are deployed into 4” (inside diameter) PVC pipes that range in length depending upon the depth of the water at the particular site. Each site, however, maintains a sonde distance of one meter from the bottom. Our San Sebastian site requires a 20’ uncoupled PVC – it is the deepest of our SWMP sites at the GTM Research Reserve. Replacing these housings requires the hands of several staff and is important in the long-term maintenance of our SWMP water quality stations – biofouling organisms are SO annoying!
Have you read our blog post about biofouling organisms on our data sondes?
This type of non-routine maintenance is required for the collection of our continuous 15-minute water quality readings. At this point in time, only a couple of us NERRds had ever replaced one of these housings before.
Through lots of planning and to-do lists (and with a little help from our friends), we were able to accomplish the task of successfully replacing the housing. It was a good thing, too, as we found out that the previous housing was completely broken in half!
We’re feeling pretty good about this station and are moving on to the next site that needs a housing replacement: Pellicer Creek.