Trutta employs traditional and/or HDSS approaches in sampling water quality. The traditional approach deploys spot samplers to specific locations to collect bottled samples for later analysis in a testing laboratory. As depicted in Figure 1, Trutta uses the HDSS method to tie water quality to visual stream features, both above and below the water, over an entire survey.
Trutta’s HDSS methodology provides not only a much more thorough analysis of water quality (100% of the survey area, not randomly selected or just easily accessible spots), but also enables root cause analysis of water quality issues throughout a stream system. In short, HDSS can reveal changes in water quality that would likely not be revealed by relying on traditional sampling methods. For example, the algae blooms in Figure 4 below are an indication of too much nutrient runoff, as compared to healthy conditions just upstream (Figure 3). Traditional water quality samples taken short distances above or below this algae bloom would miss the fact that a dry swale (Figure 3, bottom right ) is obviously washing nutrients into the stream at high flow. Bottom line: better information provided by HDSS methods make it much easier and faster to identify areas where Best Management Practices (BMPs) can and should be applied to enhance stream health.