Broward County has more than 266 miles of fresh and estuarine waterways, the majority of which are man-made canals. Many factors are used to determine whether a water body is healthy. The balance of nutrients, oxygen, salinity and temperature are necessary and specific to any given habitat. Stressed waters often have a combination of excess nutrients, bacteria, and low oxygen levels. To that end, the County established an ambient surface water quality monitoring program that measures the chemical, physical and biological conditions of our surface waters and gathers baseline data to asses overall conditions in each major waterway.
Samples are collected at 46 sites throughout the County on a quarterly basis each year. The canals and Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) are sampled for a number of water quality parameters including: total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, and salinity at all stations. Copper and bacteria samples are collected at selected sites in the estuarine canals and along the ICW.