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map of Physical/Chemistry sampling sites

  Bureau of Freshwater & Biological Monitoring




Sunken Br @ Mule Rd; Ocean County



NJDEP's current ambient surface water quality monitoring program is based on monitoring networks established in the mid -1970's in accordance with the Clean Water Act. While some original monitoring stations have remained within the network (providing long-term water quality information), the program is continually updated and refined to reflect the changing water quality monitoring needs of the State. Components of the current monitoring program include:

  1. the Ambient Surface Water Quality Monitoring Network (ASWQMN), a cooperative NJDEP / USGS program that monitors 112 stations quarterly
  2. the Regional Targeted Water Quality Network (RTWQN) and Probabilistic Water Quality and Biological Network (PWQBN), NJDEP programs monitoring an additional 63 stations (12 RTWQN and 51 PWQBN), providing enhanced regional coverage and statistically representative statewide coverage
Together these networks provide data to:
  • track status and trends in ambient water quality
  • establish background water quality
  • correlate water quality with specific land uses
  • coordinate water chemistry and biological data
  • enable statistical estimates of water quality condition for statewide assessment


Ambient Groundwater Monitoring Network

Barnegat Bay Ambient Monitoring Program Long-term ambient monitoring program to track water quality status in the Barnegat Bay Watershed.

Round Valley/Spruce Run Reservoir Monitoring ; N.J. Legislated monitoring of these important fishing/recreation/drinking water resources.


Measuring Discharge "Flow"

As part of many Bureau networks and projects, discharge measurements are made using Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (ADPs). The Bureau performs these measurements in freshwater, non-tidal streams throughout the State using techniques developed by the United States Geological Survey. Discharge measurement data (reported as cubic feet per second) collected by the Bureau can be located through USEPA's STORET database and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council/EPA/USGS's Water Quality Portal. The Bureau also contracts with the United States Geological Survey's New Jersey Water Science Center to collect discharge measurements at additional streams, especially those which cannot be waded. In addition to the Water Quality Portal, USGS discharge measurement data can be found at USGS' National Water Information System. USGS' New Jersey Water Science Center also operates many real-time streamflow gages, many of which are partially funded by NJDEP . USGS' real-time streamflow data can be found at Techniques used by the Bureau and USGS for measuring discharge can be found at


Freshwater Time Series (Continuous) Monitoring

Since 1997, the Bureau has utilized single and multi-parameter data loggers and sondes to collect time series or continuous data (successive measurements made at regular intervals over a period of time) in rivers and streams for a number of water quality parameters. Depending on the monitoring objectives, logistics and equipment capabilities, deployments can be several days to several months. To date, the Bureau has conducted over 500 continuous monitoring deployments across the State. Continuous monitoring is used to assess certain parameters which may not be fully evaluated through discrete sampling alone, due to significant diurnal and other fluctuations in these parameters. These parameters include dissolved oxygen, water temperature, specific conductance, pH and turbidity. The Division of Water Monitoring and Standards is in the process of developing a new interactive continuous monitoring website to include site lists, site maps and downloadable data access. Please check back soon for more information. In the meantime, this information is available through the New Jersey Water Monitoring Council's website at Please contact Chris Kunz ( or Alex Dinkel ( for more information.





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Last Updated: August 18, 2015