Monitoring Stations

We have strategically positioned ten monitoring stations in the project area:

  • 3 In-Stream Stations (2,800 to 4,700 acres)
  • 3 Edge-of-Field Stations (17 to 95 acres)
  • 1 Sub-Surface Drainage Tile Station (58 acres)
  • 2 Groundwater Springs (Springshed areas of approximately 3,000 acres)
  • 1 monitoring well combined with a local network of springs and private drinking water wells

Real time monitoring data is available at all stations online, including rainfall, water levels, water temperature, turbidity (water clarity), nitrate levels, and soil moisture and temperature.

View Real-Time Monitoring Online
Root River Field to Stream Stations
Root River Field to Stream Monitoring Stations
How is Data Gathered in the Root River Field to Stream Partnership

Edge-of-Field Monitoring

Edge-of-field sites play a pivotal role in assessing the movement of runoff, soil, and nutrients from specific fields to adjacent waterways. Notably, one station even gauges sub-surface tile drainage alongside surface water runoff. Each of these sites encompasses an area ranging from 17 to 95 acres, summing up to a total of five edge-of-field monitoring stations, positioned at the fringes of operational farms.

Automation lies at the heart of these installations, enabling the continuous collection of water samples whenever runoff is detected. This means 365/24/7! Rigorous analysis of these samples zeroes in on nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment content. Additionally, the monitoring extends below the surface, tracking nitrate-nitrogen levels in water moving through the soil and groundwater.

  • Field 1 – Headwaters: Corn/soybean rotation with sub-surface tile drainage, silty clay loam soils on 0-2% slopes. Both surface and drainage tile runoff is measured at this site.
  • Field 2 – Crystal Creek: Continuous corn silage with injected dairy manure, silt loam soils on 6% slopes. (Retired in 2020)
  • Field 3 – Crystal Creek: Corn, soybean and hay, injected hog manure on soybean stubble, silt loam soils on 6-8% slopes.
  • Field 4 – Bridge Creek: Continuous corn grain or silage with injected dairy manure, silt loam soils on 8% slopes.

Runoff is very episodic at these locations, with an average of 20-25 runoff generating events each year. These are often triggered by snowmelt runoff and rainfall runoff during periods of the year when the crop canopy is not well established.

In-Stream Monitoring

In-stream monitoring sites are located at the outlet of three small watersheds (South Branch of the Root River Headwaters, Crystal Creek and Bridge Creek). Each site captures water from an area of 2,800 – 4,700 acres. Each sub-watershed represents one of the three unique landscapes found in the greater Root River watershed. Those landscapes include the glacial till area in the west, central karst terrain and bluff landscape in the east. In-stream sites are equipped to continuously monitor flow, precipitation, nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, and turbidity during ice-free periods.

In-Stream Monitoring
Root River Field to Stream Well Monitoring

Monitoring Wells

In collaboration with DNR’s Cooperative Groundwater Monitoring program, Two long-term nested monitoring wells were installed. These sites will provide valuable information about groundwater

Cooperative Groundwater Monitoring (CGM)
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is more than just collecting water samples. We’re helping provide relevant information to farmers, landowners and their advisors which is helping accelerate the adoption of precision conservation practices.

Project Partners

Root River Field to Stream Project Partners