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map of Lakes sampling sites

  Bureau of Freshwater & Biological Monitoring




Sunken Br @ Mule Rd; Ocean County


The Ambient Surface Water Quality Monitoring Network (ASWQMN) is a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Freshwater and Biological Monitoring and USGS’ New Jersey Water Science Center.  The network was established in 1976 to determine status and trends of surface waters in New Jersey. A 1997 network revision focused on supporting water quality initiatives in each of NJDEP's newly created watershed management areas, the functional units for DEP's Watershed Initiatives. Currently, the network is comprised of 112 stations.  General ASWQMN objectives include:

  • continued tracking of status and trends in ambient water quality
  • establish background water quality by physiographic province
  • provide data from a set of randomly selected sites to assess water quality state wide (1998 – 2011)
  • provide data from set of selected sites in priority regions, basins, and/or watersheds (2011 – present)
  • obtain water quality data that can be correlated with specific land uses (urban, mixed, agricultural and undeveloped)
  • coordinate the collection of water chemistry and biological data at common locations

Core network parameters, measured quarterly include: discharge(flow), field parameters, total and filtered nutrients and filtered ions. Supplemental parameters, collected at a subset of stations and at a reduced frequency include: diurnal D.O., pesticides, total recoverable metals, VOCs (1998 – 2003), sediment nutrients, sediment metals and sediment PAH's.

Web based annual data reports are available at USGS's Annual Data Reports web site. Network data is also stored in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database and can be found at
Data from this network can also be downloaded from the Water Quality Portal at the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s website,
In accordance with the Clean Water Act, network data is used to assess attainment of the water body’s intended uses in the New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (305(b) and 303(d)) and can be found at:  
A list of New Jersey surface water quality standards and sediment/soil remediation standards can be found at

An example video of a stream sampling and flow measurement event for a southern stream can be found on DEP's Barnegat Bay Sampling Videos web page. The Chapter 2 video shows an example of chemical sampling and flow measurement at a Pinelands stream.

For additional information, please contact Chris Kunz at 609-292-0427.

Click here to learn about the Regional Targeted Water Quality Network and Probabilistic Water Quality and Biological Network






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Last Updated: August 18, 2015