1. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
      2. Bureau of Conservation and Restoration
      3. TABLE OF CONTENTS
      4. PENNSYLVANIA IMPROVING WATERS PROGRAM GUIDELINES
      5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
      6. BACKGROUND
      7. PURPOSE
      8. INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENT
      9. A. Suggested Assessment Methods for Documenting Incremental Improvement
      10. B. Data Analysis for Determining Incremental Improvement
      11. 1. Assessment of Chemical Parameters
      12. 2. Assessment of Biological Parameters
      13. a. Benthic Macroinvertebrates
      14. b. Fecal Coliform Bacteria
      15. c. Chlorophyll-a (Lakes)
      16. d. Aquatic Invasive Species
      17. e. Plankton (Lakes)
      18. f. Macrophytes (Lakes)
      19. 3. Assessment of Physical Parameters
      20. a. Water Temperature
      21. b. Dissolved Oxygen
      22. c. Erosion and Sedimentation
      23. d. Habitat
      24. Class 1
      25. Class 2
      26. Class 3
      27. APPENDICES
      28. APPENDIX 1
      29. Reporting Template
      30. APPENDIX 2
      31. Chemical/Physical Indicators:
      32. 1. Grab Sample for Laboratory Analysis: SAC Code - 906
      33. 2. Field Survey
      34. Biological Indicators:
      35. 1. Benthic Macroinvertebrates
      36. 2. Bacteria (as needed)
      37. Frequency:
      38. Quality Assurance Measures:
      39. Data Management and Analysis:
      40. APPENDIX 3
      41. Chemical/Physical Indicators:
      42. 1. Grab Sample for Laboratory Analysis: SAC Code - 909
      43. 2. Field Survey
      44. Biological Indicators:
      45. 1. Benthic Macroinvertebrates
      46. 2. Bacteria (as needed)
      47. Frequency:
      48. Quality Assurance Measures:
      49. Data Management and Analysis:

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page i
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Bureau of Conservation and Restoration
DOCUMENT NUMBER:
394-3000-001
TITLE:
Pennsylvania Improving Waters Program Guidelines: Documenting and
Reporting Measureable, Incremental Improvements in Water Quality of
Streams, Rivers and Lakes
EFFECTIVE DATE:
Upon publication of notice as final in the
Pennsylvania Bulletin
AUTHORITY:
The Pennsylvania Clean Stream Law, 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
POLICY:
This policy provides guidance and procedures for identifying incremental
improvement in the water quality of streams, rivers, and lakes.
PURPOSE:
The purpose of these guidelines is to explain the process for Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff and others involved
in water quality monitoring who are interested in documenting and
reporting measurable, incremental improvements in water quality in
streams, rivers and lakes that result in progress towards an impairment free
condition.
APPLICABILITY:
This guidance applies to individuals who wish to contribute information
that will be used to document improvements in polluted waters of the
Commonwealth.
DISCLAIMER:
The policies and procedures outlined in this guidance document are
intended to supplement existing requirements. Nothing in the policies or
procedures shall affect regulatory requirements.
The policies and procedures herein are not an adjudication or a regulation.
There is no intent on the part of the Department to give these rules that
weight or deference. This document establishes the framework within
which DEP will exercise its administrative discretion in the future. DEP
reserves the discretion to deviate from this policy statement if
circumstances warrant.
PAGE LENGTH:
17 pages

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .........................................................................................................................1
BACKGROUND .........................................................................................................................................1
PURPOSE....................................................................................................................................................2
INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENT...........................................................................................................2
A.
Suggested Assessment Methods for Documenting Incremental Improvement ...............................3
B.
Data Analysis for Determining Incremental Improvement .............................................................4
1.
Assessment of Chemical Parameters ...................................................................................4
2.
Assessment of Biological Parameters..................................................................................4
a.
Benthic Macroinvertebrates .................................................................................... 4
b.
Fecal Coliform Bacteria.......................................................................................... 5
c.
Chlorophyll-a (Lakes)............................................................................................. 5
d.
Aquatic Invasive Species ........................................................................................ 6
e.
Plankton (Lakes) ..................................................................................................... 7
f.
Macrophytes (Lakes) .............................................................................................. 7
3.
Assessment of Physical Parameters.....................................................................................8
a.
Water Temperature ................................................................................................. 8
b.
Dissolved Oxygen................................................................................................... 8
c.
Erosion and Sedimentation ..................................................................................... 8
d.
Habitat..................................................................................................................... 8
APPENDICES ...........................................................................................................................................10
Appendix 1.................................................................................................................................................11
Appendix 2.................................................................................................................................................12
Appendix 3.................................................................................................................................................14

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 1
PENNSYLVANIA IMPROVING WATERS PROGRAM GUIDELINES
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The purpose of these guidelines is to explain the process for Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) staff and others involved in water quality monitoring who are interested in
documenting and reporting measurable, incremental improvements in water quality in streams, rivers
and lakes that result in progress towards an impairment free condition.
The information collected through the guidelines will be used to develop the DEP‟s biennial
Pennsylvania Improving Waters Report,
which is not meant to replace the biennial
Pennsylvania
Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report)
to the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Instead,
The Pennsylvania Improving Waters Report
will
illustrate water quality attainment successes described in the
Integrated Report
and share information
about surface waters that show incremental improvement.
BACKGROUND
Pennsylvania has a wealth of surface water resources with over 86,000 miles of streams and rivers along
with 161,455 acres of lakes. These abundant water resources are protected by a variety of laws,
regulations, permits, policies, and best management practices (BMPs). A subset of these water
resources is afforded “Special Protection” through regulatory programs because they are of the highest
quality in terms of their chemical, physical, and biological health.
DEP, natural resource agencies, county conservation districts, municipal governments, watershed
organizations, and others with an interest in watershed stewardship have invested enormous effort in the
implementation of pollution reduction activities and BMPs to restore and protect water resources in
every county of Pennsylvania. This effort has been primarily focused on remedying non-point sources
of pollution. Despite these efforts, many rivers, streams, and lakes are “impaired” or not meeting a
water quality standard for aquatic life or human health protection.
According to the 2014
Integrated Report
(
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality),
16,882 stream miles are impaired. The two largest sources of pollutants are agriculture and abandoned
mine drainage. The most frequently named pollutants are siltation and metals. Urban runoff and storm
sewers are major sources of pollutants in metropolitan areas. In addition, 37,759 lake acres are
impaired. The leading pollutant source to lakes is agriculture and the most frequently named parameters
of concern are nutrients, suspended solids, and organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen.
Over the past 14 years, 3,628 miles of river and stream miles along with 17,990 acres of lakes have been
removed from the impaired waters list. Although efforts to improve waters have been implemented, the
success of these efforts is not readily apparent because there is no formal mechanism for demonstrating
such improvements. Only complete recovery, which shows total restoration of the water quality
standard, is documented. Matters that are affecting the demonstration of ongoing progress in water
resource restoration may include:
1.
The significant lag time between removal or reduction of a pollutant source and the
corresponding water quality response.
2.
Insufficient data collected to verify restoration.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 2
3.
No technical procedure is in place for showing improvement that has occurred, but still falls
short of meeting standards for delisting.
PURPOSE
The purpose of these guidelines is to explain a process for DEP staff and others involved in water
quality monitoring who are interested in documenting and reporting measurable, incremental
improvements in water quality in streams, rivers and lakes that result in progress towards an impairment
free condition. Improvements can occur through restoration efforts, enhancements, or removal of threats
to the integrity of a waterbody.
The information collected through the guidelines will be used to develop the DEP‟s
Improving Waters
Report.
The
Improving Waters Report
is not meant to replace the biennial
Integrated Report.
Instead,
The Pennsylvania Improving Waters Report
will illustrate water quality attainment successes
described in the
Integrated Report
and share information about surface waters that show incremental
improvement.
“Improving Waters” is the term applied to waterbodies where their quality has increased in some
measurable way. To qualify as “improving water,” clearly definable progress toward an impairment free
condition is demonstrated through scientific measurement and documentation. Improvements can occur
because of restoration efforts, enhancements, or removal of threats to the health and/or integrity of a
waterbody.
Generally, a waterbody that is a lake or stream will be evaluated for improvement if it is either on the
federal Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters or when the waterbody is at risk of
being placed on the 303(d) list. (Pennsylvania‟s Section 303(d) list can be found at
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality)
To be included in
Pennsylvania’s Improving Waters Report,
documentation must demonstrate that after
restoration efforts, enhancements, or removal of threats to the integrity of a waterbody, the condition(s)
within the waterbody have significantly improved over the conditions used to place the waterbody on
the 303(d) list or to prevent further degradation.
INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENT
For the purposes of the
Improving Waters Report
, incremental improvement will be documented as a
measurable, technically defensible, and positive change in the condition of a waterbody or watershed.
Established, scientifically sound monitoring, and assessment protocols will be used to demonstrate
improvement.
Documenting incremental improvements is beneficial in that it provides recognition for the communities
and their efforts to restore and protect water resources.
Measurement of incremental improvement
can be accomplished in different ways, provided
the measurement method is scientifically sound, appropriately used, and sufficiently sensitive
enough to generate data showing a positive change in conditions.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 3
Measurable parameters and indicators
of incremental improvement may include biological,
chemical, and physical properties or attributes of an aquatic ecosystem that can be used to
reliably indicate a positive change in conditions.
A positive change in condition
means a measurable improvement that is related to a reduction
in a specific pollutant load, a reduction in total number of impairment causes, a reduction in an
accepted non-pollutant measure of degradation, or an increase in an accepted measure of positive
waterbody condition relevant to designated use support.
In rivers and streams there must be:
?
At least one chemical parameter that shows improvement of 15% or greater over baseline
condition OR;
?
Benthic macroinvertebrate metric scores showing improvement over baseline as
described below OR;
?
A combination of an increase in benthic macroinvertebrate metric scores combined with
an improvement in visual habitat scores over baseline as described below OR;
?
Improvement in a combination of physical parameters as described below.
In lakes, ponds, and reservoirs there must be:
?
Improvement trends in Trophic State Indices (TSI) OR;
?
A single physical or chemical parameter shows improvement of at least 15% over
baseline.
There will be variability in results over time due to natural variability and normal sample error. It must
be demonstrated that sample results or scores are the result of increased water quality and habitat and
not artifacts of variability. This is most easily accomplished by taking multiple samples over time and
space. In most waterbodies, monitoring will need to continue for three years or more. There may be
some waterbodies such as those being actively treated for abandoned mine drainage where incremental
improvement will be observed in less than three years.
A.
Suggested Assessment Methods for Documenting Incremental Improvement
1.
DEP Instream Comprehensive Evaluation (ICE) Surveys.
www.dep.state.pa.us
,
keyword: Water Quality
2.
DEP Surface Water Quality Monitoring Network (WQN) Manual (3800-BK-DEP0636).
www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/Get/Document-91443/3800-BK-DEP0636.pdf
3.
DEP‟s Watershed Support Section‟s - Water Quality Monitoring Methods for Watersheds
with Agricultural Impacts. See Appendix 2 of this document.
4.
DEP‟s Watershed Support Section‟s - Water Quality Monitoring Methods for Abandoned
Mine Drainage Impacts. See Appendix 3 of this document.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 4
5.
Water Quality Monitoring Methods as described in the
Pennsylvania Senior Environment
Corps Statewide Volunteer Water Monitoring Quality Assurance Project Plan (2013).
www.natureabounds.org/SEC_Manuals.html
B.
Data Analysis for Determining Incremental Improvement
1.
Assessment of Chemical Parameters
Analysis of chemical parameters alone can be used to define incremental improvement
when results show a positive change in conditions. In general, this means that certain
parameters previously not meeting standards are moving closer - by 15% or more - to
meeting the standards set in
Pa. Code
Title 25, Chapter 93 Water Quality Standards -
Specific Water Quality criteria (Chapter 93 WQS).
www.pacode.com/secure/data/025/chapter93/s93.7.html
2.
Assessment of Biological Parameters
a.
Benthic Macroinvertebrates
Analysis of the Benthic Macroinvertebrate community alone can be used to define
incremental improvement when results show a significant increase in the
abundance and diversity of organisms. In general this means that organisms are
identified to the lowest feasible taxonomic level and tabulated. The composite
data is applied to a set of biological metrics to obtain an Index of Biological
Integrity or Water Quality Score.
Historical biological datasets will not necessarily be complete so it is important to
collect data that will be comparable to those older datasets. The current DEP
methodology is preferred where possible and practical; however, in many cases
this level of rigor may not be necessary to show incremental improvement. For
example, in a severely degraded stream, historical datasets could show that the
stream was devoid of nearly all aquatic macroinvertebrate organisms. In such
cases, simply identifying the reestablishment of any macroinvertebrate population
is evidence of incremental improvement.
While there is no need to apply any specific taxonomic analysis in extreme cases
of impairment, a meaningful level of rigor is required under less extreme
circumstances. When working in waterbodies where extreme degradation to the
biotic community occurred (e.g., AMD pollution resulting in complete removal of
life from a stream) a simple screening of the condition is adequate to show
incremental improvement. When working with a less extreme case (e.g.,
significant, but not total loss of the benthic community resulting from prolonged
sediment pollution), macroinvertebrate organisms should be identified to the
taxonomic „family‟ level or lower and the data should be applied to several
logical biometrics.
For data comparisons, new data should consist of annual sampling events over at
least three years after the installation of BMPs or removal of pollutant source.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 5
The collections should occur at the same time of year for each sampling location
between October 1st and May 1st.
If the Biosurvey protocol described in
Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps
Water Quality Field Manual
(
www.natureabounds.org/SEC_Manuals.html
) is
used, a score based on a scale of zero to 40+ that increases by 6 or more from a
previous sampling at the same time of year indicates incremental improvement.
If the more rigorous DEP methodology is used, an Index of Biological Integrity
(IBI) score, which is based on a scale of 0 to 100, can be used to document
incremental improvement when there is an increase of 15 over the historical data
collected at the same time of year.
b.
Fecal Coliform Bacteria
Decreasing Fecal Coliform Bacteria counts can be used in combination with
reductions in other parameters such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment to
indicate incremental improvement. In cases where bacteria are a concern, five or
more samples are used to obtain a geometric mean. A one-time grab sample can
be used as background. In many cases where bacteria are a problem, the numbers
of colonies formed on a test plate (per 100/ml of water) will be much higher than
the number suitable for human contact. Therefore, in cases where human contact
criteria are not met, and the exceedance is >10X the standard, an indication of
incremental improvement will be defined as a reduction in the geometric mean by
a factor of 10. (For example, a baseline/historical geometric mean of
33,500 colonies per 100 ml of water dropping below 3,350 colonies per 100 ml of
water would signify incremental improvement).
In cases where baseline counts are only 3X - 10X greater than the standard an
improvement means reducing the count by 2X the standard. Historical counts that
are <3X the standard should be reduced to meet the standard in order to signify an
improvement.
For determining incremental improvement many user-friendly products such as
EasyGel can be used to estimate bacteria counts in the field.
The results obtained by field kits have recognized limitations, but when
consistently applied as part of a long-term monitoring program they can be used
for supportive evidence of improvement.
c.
Chlorophyll-a (Lakes)
Chlorophyll-a (chl-a) analyses, done via laboratory analyses or an appropriate
calibrated multi-parameter meter, are used in lakes for Trophic State Indices (TSI)
calculations. The parameter is tied to algal production, which can be improved
(reduced) by a reduction in available nutrients via BMPs in-lake, or as load
reductions from the watershed.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 6
A 15% reduction in average or summer chl-a levels or chl-a TSIs indicate
incremental improvement, if the original water quality impairment was caused by
productivity due to nutrients. Comparisons should be limited to summer samples
when worst-case conditions would be most likely. TSIs below 60 are indicative
of normal conditions, although sometimes problems do arise with TSIs of 55+;
above 65 indicates hypereutrophic conditions. TSIs between 60 and 65 usually
coincide with eutrophic conditions and noticeable algal problems or abundant
macrophytes growth. Targeted reductions in TSI or chl-a levels are tied to
nutrient reductions and are good markers for improving conditions.
d.
Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) influence and continue to affect state assessments
of waterbodies. Perceptions and conclusions regarding the impacts of AIS
continue to evolve. Many aquatic invasive species are capable of degradation by
changing the natural characteristics of the water, reducing the abundance and
diversity of native aquatic life, or impeding human uses of the water. Nationally,
a number of AIS have been recorded as the cause of impairment for 303(d)
listings. Realizing that the degrading effects of AIS can lead to a violation of
state water quality standards and to the identification of waters as impaired under
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, it is logical that removing any aquatic
invasive species should also be considered to be an incremental improvement to
any infested waterbody, and preventing AIS introductions should be a goal for all
healthy waters.
Any AIS can cause substantial ecological and economic damage where conditions
are favorable for its proliferation. Therefore, any AIS (or more generally any
non-native species) can, on a case-by-case basis, be considered as a candidate
species for inclusion in the process. In other words, there is no “dirty dozen” type
of list of species that serves as a complete compilation of species to which this
section applies.
The purposeful or circumstantial elimination of any AIS can be considered an
incremental improvement to a waterbody if there is reasonable documentation to
suggest that the species imposes threat(s) or potential threat(s) to that waterbody,
and the following four additional measures are met. Removal of AIS can be
considered as an incremental improvement when:
1)
Occurrence of a recognized AIS and its relative abundance in the
waterbody has been reported, acknowledged, and verified;
2)
There is documentation of the means by which eradication or elimination
of the AIS has taken place;
3)
The eradication is followed up by appropriate monitoring indicating that
the AIS has not been found in the waterbody or stream reach of concern
for a minimum of three consecutive years (longer periods of monitoring
are recommended in cases where viable seed-banks or other extenuating
circumstances that would likely cause a reoccurrence are suspected or

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 7
known to exist). Monitoring is to be done to an intensity that allows for
the reasonable conclusion that no individual specimen remains living in
the waterbody or stream reach of concern;
4)
The eradication of the AIS should be linked to other improvements in
water quality, use, biological condition, management goal(s), or social or
economic benefit. Note: One AIS specimen is considered an infestation
and a single occurrence should trigger reporting and rapid response.
e.
Plankton (Lakes)
If plankton studies have been included in past lake assessments, improvement in
plankton dynamics can be shown by changes in types/groups and/or overall
densities during critical growing-season periods. Bluegreen algae (cyanobacteria)
blooms usually coincide with lake problems, especially during summer. An
assessment of incremental improvement would be based on documentation of
critical Genera, Class or Order algal types, and densities of those algae. This data
would be generated by skilled taxonomic lab identifications and precise
methodology for the entire sampling, ID, and density calculation process.
Since plankton populations are very dynamic (with changes in density and species
because of changes in temperature, day length, and nutrient availability
throughout the growing season), year-to-year, comparisons should be limited to
worse-case conditions (i.e., summer, roughly mid-July through mid-September).
Multi-year comparisons should show an increase in “good” algae, and a decrease
in “bad” algae (i.e., bluegreens). This may be difficult to show given the temporal
and year-to-year dynamics of plankton populations, and may not even be feasible,
but is included here as a possibility.
f.
Macrophytes (Lakes)
Macrophyte (in-water submerged, emergent, and floating aquatic plants)
coverages are an integral part of assessing a waterbody‟s Recreational Use.
Although macrophytes are important components of aquatic ecosystems, when
overly abundant, can become a nuisance and easily impair boating, fishing, and
swimming. Invasive species can reduce the quality of habitat for fish and other
aquatic organisms, and can eventually out-compete native plant species.
Improvements include: reduction or control of invasive species, reduction of
surface or underwater coverage (total species) to below 40% of the lake and/or
shoreline, and improvement in access within the waterbody.
Incremental Improvements would rely on density and coverage reductions based
on successful implementation of BMPs such as chemical treatments, harvesting,
dredging and/or watershed BMPs that target nutrient load reductions to the
lake/waterbody. Such improvements can be documented by lake mapping of the
past and present coverage of macrophytes; photo-documentation; species density
studies and/or aerial photos of coverage changes over time over multiple years.
Documentation should be made during the summer months when plant growth is
maximized.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 8
3.
Assessment of Physical Parameters
a.
Water Temperature
Decreasing water temperatures - lower average high temperature in summer
months as compared to historical records can be used in combination with
increasing dissolved oxygen to identify incremental improvement in streams.
This can be demonstrated on a case-by-case basis, with records over a period of
years; for example, as a streamside buffer matures. Before and after graphs of
data and data averages can show incremental improvements.
b.
Dissolved Oxygen
Increasing dissolved oxygen of > 2mg/L can be used in combination with
decreasing water temperature to identify incremental improvement in streams -
specifically those with buffer BMPs installed.
c.
Erosion and Sedimentation
A pebble count, performed with each macroinvertebrate survey, can be used in
combination with IBI scores to identify incremental improvement in streams.
Pebble count histograms can show improvements in pebble/rock size and
decreasing sediment-laden streambeds. A shift in the histogram to larger
streambed particles/rocks can be related to stream habitat improvement with a
comparison of means/minimums and more sizes.
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword:
Water Quality
d.
Habitat
1)
Visual Habitat Assessment
Visual habitat assessment scores can be used in combination with a
macroinvertebrate survey to identify improvement in streams. Total
habitat score must be equal or greater than the minimum suboptimal
habitat score (132 for the rifle/run dominated streams), as well as the
minimum suboptimal scores for the instream habitat components of
instream cover, epifaunal substrate, embeddedness, and sediment
deposition (40 or greater).
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality
For data comparisons, new data should consist of a minimum of
two sampling events over one year with collections occurring between
October 1st and May 1st.
2)
Riparian Forest Buffer Assessment
Riparian forest buffers have been identified as one of the most effective
interventions for controlling non-point source pollution from agricultural,
urban, and suburban lands. Buffers also provide mitigation of storm water

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 9
runoff, increase wildlife habitat, and cool the water in streams, rivers, and
lakes. When conducting a riparian assessment, several elements (age and
condition of the buffer, the existence of invasive species, variety of
vegetation of in the buffer, nearby land use, other land uses in the
watershed, deer browsing, field pest, flood plain, ideal buffer size, is it a
planted buffer or a natural regeneration, size of the vegetation in the buffer
and are there potential hazards) must be considered to conduct a thorough
assessment. The art and science of conducting a successful assessment is
figuring out how all those elements impact and/or compliment each other
in making the riparian buffer as efficient as possible. See DEP‟s Riparian
Forest Buffer Guidance (DEP Document # 394-5600-001, pages 22-27)
for an assessment method with a classification system as detailed below:
www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/Get/Document-82308/394-5600-
001.pdf
Class 1
Width of area with trees and shrubs is 100 feet or greater as measured from top of
streambank or lake shoreline
Minimum 60% uniform canopy cover (area of ground covered by a vertical
projection of the canopy of predominantly native shrubs and trees)
Pennsylvania Noxious Weeds and invasive species are removed and controlled to
the extent possible
Class 2
Width of area with trees and shrubs is 100 feet or greater as measured from top of
streambank or lake shoreline
Less than 60% uniform canopy cover (area of ground covered by a vertical
projection of the canopy of predominantly native shrubs and trees)
Pennsylvania Noxious Weeds and invasive species are removed and controlled to
the extent possible
Class 3
Width of area with trees and shrubs is less than 100 feet as measured from top of
streambank or lake shoreline
Less than 60% uniform canopy cover (area of ground covered by a vertical
projection of the canopy of predominantly native shrubs and trees)
Pennsylvania Noxious Weeds and invasive species present

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 10
APPENDICES
Appendix 1.
Reporting Template.
Appendix 2.
DEP‟s Watershed Support Section‟s - Water Quality Monitoring Methods for
Agricultural Impacts.
Appendix 3.
DEP‟s Watershed Support Section‟s - Water Quality Monitoring Methods for Abandoned
Mine Drainage Impacts.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 11
APPENDIX 1
Reporting Template
This template should be used to develop a document that is sent to Diane Wilson
(diawilson@pa.gov)
in
the Bureau of Conservation and Restoration annually by January 31 for inclusion in DEP‟s
Improving
Waters Report
.
A.
Background on waterbody to include: stream/lake name, watershed where waterbody is found
(HUC 12 or smaller) county/municipality, number of stream miles and/or lake acres,
source/cause of impairment, and summary of historical data.
B.
Purpose of monitoring - incremental improvement goals for each parameter.
C.
Monitoring Methods to include: protocols used, location (latitude and longitude of sampling
locations), frequency of sampling, quality control measures.
D.
Description of reasons for improvement. Include as much information as possible (if known)
such as BMPs established, funding sources, dates of establishment, responsible groups, etc.
E.
Generalized trends in the waterbody to include documentation of sampling results.
F.
Recommendations for additional actions to restore and protect waterbody.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 12
APPENDIX 2
DEP’s Watershed Support Section’s - Water Quality Monitoring Methods for Agricultural
Impacts
Chemical/Physical Indicators:
1.
Grab Sample for Laboratory Analysis: SAC Code - 906
Test Code
Test Description
00095
Specific Conductivity @ 25.0 C
00410
Alkalinity Total as CACO3 (Titrimetric)
00530
Total Suspended Solids
00600A
Nitrogen Total as N
00610A
Ammonia Total as Nitrogen
00615A
Nitrite Nitrogen, Total Automated
00620
Nitrate as Nitrogen
00665A
Phosphorus, Total as P
Required bottle ware and preservatives for SAC 906: (1) 500 ml HDPE unpreserved (general
chemistry); (1) 125 ml HDPE preserved with 10% H2SO4 to pH < 2 (N/P)
2.
Field Survey
Indicator
Method
Water temperature
In field with armored thermometer or meter with thyrister.
pH
In field with meter.
Dissolved Oxygen
Field measurement in a riffle with meter.
Habitat assessment
Riffle/Run Assessment Protocol - DEP ICE Protocol * Appendix B.
Photo documentation
At all sampling locations before and after installation of conservation
practices.
TDS/Conductivity
In field with meter.
Stream Flow
Embody float method or use of flow meter.
Sedimentation
Pebble Count Procedure - DEP ICE Protocol * Appendix G.
*
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality
Biological Indicators:
1.
Benthic Macroinvertebrates
Use one of the following:
A.
DEP ICE Protocol
(
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality)
B.
Biosurvey: Macroinvertebrate Collection Procedure - found in Water Quality Monitoring
Field Manual for the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps (2011).
www.natureabounds.org/SEC_Manuals.html

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 13
2.
Bacteria (as needed)
Bacteriological samples are collected at the discretion of the field investigator if there is a need
to assess potable water supply or recreational use impairment. Use DEP ICE Protocol
(
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality).
Frequency:
The frequency of monitoring will be quarterly for one year prior to installation of Best Management
Practices (BMPs) (if possible) and quarterly for at least five years after installation of BMPs. The
exception to the above is that macroinvertebrate monitoring, habitat assessment, and Wolman Pebble
Count will be done once in the fall prior to installation of BMPs and once in the fall annually for
five years after installation of the BMPs.
Quality Assurance Measures:
Meters will be calibrated according to manufacturer‟s recommendations. Quality control samples will
be taken to ensure valid data are collected. Depending on the parameter, quality control samples will
consist of field blanks, standards checks, and duplicate samples or split samples for every 10 samples.
Data Management and Analysis:
Chemical and physical data will be stored in an Excel database. A trend analysis will be performed after
eight discrete sampling events for chemical/physical indicators following BMP implementation.

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 14
APPENDIX 3
DEP’s Watershed Support Section’s - Water Quality Monitoring Methods for Abandoned Mine
Drainage Impacts
Chemical/Physical Indicators:
1.
Grab Sample for Laboratory Analysis: SAC Code - 909
Test Code
Test Description
00403
pH, Lab (Electrometric)
00410
Alkalinity Total as CACO3 (Titrimetric)
00530
Total Suspended Solids
00900
Hardness Total (Calculated)
00916A
Calcium Total by Trace Elements in Waters & Wastes by ICP
00927A
Magnesium, Total by Trace Elements in Waters & Wastes by ICP
00945
Sulfate by Ion Chromatograph
01045A
Iron, Total by Trace Elements in Waters & Wastes by ICP
01055A
Manganese, Total by Trace Elements in Waters & Wastes by ICP
01092H
Zinc, Total by Trace Elements in Waters & Wastes by ICPMS
01105H
Aluminum, Total by Trace Elements in Waters & Wastes by ICPMS
70508
Acidity, Total Hot as CACO3 (Titrimetric)
Required bottle ware and preservatives for SAC 909: (1) 500 ml HDPE unpreserved (general
chemistry); (1) 125 ml HDPE preserved with 1:1 HNO3 to pH < 2 (metals).
2.
Field Survey
Indicators
Method
Water temperature
In field with armored thermometer or meter with thyrister.
pH
In field with meter.
Dissolved Oxygen
Field measurement in a riffle using Winkler Titration or meter.
Habitat assessment
Riffle/Run Assessment Protocol - DEP ICE Protocol * Appendix B.
Photo documentation
At all sampling locations before and after installation of conservation
practices.
TDS/Conductivity
In field with meter.
Stream Flow
Embody float method or use of flow meter.
Sedimentation
Pebble Count Procedure - DEP ICE Protocol * Appendix G.
*
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality
Biological Indicators:
1.
Benthic Macroinvertebrates
Use one of the following:
A.
DEP ICE Protocol (
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality)

394-3000-001 / DRAFT October 31, 2015 / Page 15
B.
Biosurvey: Macroinvertebrate Collection Procedure - found on pages 56-70 in Water
Quality Monitoring Field Manual for the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps
(2011).
www.natureabounds.org/SEC_Manuals.html
2.
Bacteria (as needed)
Bacteriological samples are collected at the discretion of the field investigator if there is a need
to assess potable water supply or recreational use impairment. Use DEP ICE Protocol
(
www.dep.state.pa.us
, keyword: Water Quality).
Frequency:
The frequency of monitoring will be quarterly for one year prior to installation of Best Management
Practices (BMPs) (if possible) and quarterly for at least five years after installation of BMPs. The
exception to the above is that macroinvertebrate monitoring, habitat assessment, and Wolman Pebble
Count will be done once in the fall prior to installation of BMPs and once in the fall annually for
five years after installation of the BMPs.
Quality Assurance Measures:
Meters will be calibrated according to manufacturer‟s recommendations. Quality control samples will
be taken to ensure valid data are collected. Depending on the parameter, quality control samples will
consist of field blanks, standards checks, and duplicate samples or split samples for every ten samples.
Data Management and Analysis:
Data will be stored in an Excel database. A trend analysis will be performed after 8 discrete sampling
events.

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