City of Oxnard
Since 1979 the Aquatic Bioassay Team has been conducting one of the largest ongoing NPDES municipal receiving monitoring programs in southern California for the City of Oxnard. Our team conducts all the sampling, laboratory analyses, quality control, data management, data analysis and reporting for the City’s receiving water program. The monitoring program has evolved through the years and currently includes each of the following elements:
- Annual sediment chemistry, benthic infaunal and toxicity surveys are conducted at seven sites near to and far from the outfall terminus to assess both the spatial and temporal impact of the effluent discharge. Chemistry samples are analyzed for general constituents, total metals and organics. Infauna are analyzed by SCAMIT certified taxonomists. Data are reported annually both in tables and graphs and assessed using both univariate and multivariate statistical techniques.
- Each quarter we conduct offshore water quality monitoring at 48 sites covering a distance of 120 miles from the Ventura River to Point Dume, and ranging in depth from 20 to 100 meters. These surveys are part of a regional survey that is conducted in coordination with the Central Coast Water Quality Consortium (Orange County Sanitation Districts, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of San Diego). Water quality profiles are conducted using a SeaBird 25 Plus CTD, collecting data for depth, temperature, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and fluorescence (chla and CDOM) at a rate of eight scans a second through the water column. Survey reports containing a short narrative, along with tabular and graphical representations of the SeaBird 25 CTD data, water column chemistry, bacteria, and observational data, are compiled and presented to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on a quarterly basis throughout the survey year. The spatial and temporal trends associated with these data are further summarized and discussed in the annual assessments reports.
- Trawled fish and macroinvertebrate communities are sampled annually at three replicate stations to assess the impact of the effluent on these communities. All fish and macroinvertebrates are weighed and measured for community analysis, and all organisms are checked for abnormailities. Our team of biologists are active members in the Southern California Association of Ichthyological Taxonomists and Ecologists (SCAITE) who are responsible ensuring the standardization and accuracy of fish and invertebrate identifications in the Southern California Bight.
Tissue bioaccumulation samples are collected for a fish and invertebrate species from each site and analyzed for priority pollutants. All of these results assessed for any spatial and/or temporal trends associated with the outfall, compared with other locations in the southern California Bight, and, in the case of tissues, compared to human health consumption thresholds provided by the State’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
- Our team of divers annually inspect the outfall pipe using video cameras to record its condition. The video and a written report are included in each annual assessment report.
Goleta Sanitation District
Since 1998 the Aquatic Bioassay team has been conducting both quarterly and annual compliance monitoring surveys for the District. These surveys include:
- Quarterly water quality surveys using a SeaBird 25 CTD water column profiling package for depth, temperature, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH.
- Annual sediment contaminant and benthic infauna surveys are conducted at six sites near to and far from the outfall terminus to assess both the spatial and temporal impact of the effluent discharge. Chemistry samples are analyzed for general constituents, total metals and organics. Infauna are analyzed by SCAMIT certified taxonomists. Data are reported both in tables and graphs and assessed using both univariate and multivariate statistical techniques.
- Trawled fish and macroinvertebrate communities are sampled annually at two replicate stations to assess the impact of the effluent on these communities. In addition, tissue bioaccumulation samples are dissected from fish and mussels and then analyzed for priority pollutants and compared to OEHHA consumption thresholds.
- Annual outfall pipe inspections are conducted by divers using video to record the condition of the pipe.
- All data collected from the above surveys are condensed into an annual receiving water report that is ready for submission to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP). The Aquatic Bioassay Team has been participating in this region-wide marine monitoring study since the fall of 1998. This project is coordinated by SCCWRP and is the largest ocean monitoring study in the nation. Other participants include the National Parks Service, UCLA, USC, UCSB, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, all of southern California’s coastal POTW’s and watershed protection agencies. Aquatic Bioassay’s participation includes water column sampling, shoreline bacterial sampling, bottom sediment sampling for chemical analysis and infauna, trawl sampling with fish and invertebrate identification, infaunal taxonomy, sediment toxicity bioassays, data analysis and reporting. In addition, Aquatic Bioassay staff are members on the following committees; Steering, Toxicology, Microbiology, Field Methods, Fish Taxonomy, Benthic Taxonomy, Water Quality, and Data Management. Aquatic Bioassay has served as a contract benthic infauna taxonomy laboratory for SCCWRP for the past ten years.