For over 20 years, RGISC scientists have conducted monthly water quality testing at multiple sites along the Rio Grande. There are eight designated testing sites located along Laredo's stretch of the river. The northernmost site is located off Mines Road, while the southernmost site is located directly on the Webb-Zapata county line.
There are some months where only four of the eight sites will be tested, then there are months where all eight sites are visited!
After the water samples are collected, they are brought back to the lab. In the lab, some of the water samples are used to conduct tests, while other samples are sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The data collected at each of these sites is submitted to federal and state authorities and is part of the Texas Clean Rivers Program database. Water quality parameters include Total Dissolved Solids, Total Suspended Solids, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, stream flow, temperature, as well as E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria levels.
Dr. Tom Vaughan at the testing site located at the Jefferson Street Water Treatment Plant. This is the plant's raw water intake where Rio Grande water is drawn in, treated, and distributed to the citizens of Laredo.
Mussel Research on the Rio Grande
August 24, 2015
This week, RGISC helped search for the elusive and possibly endangered Mexican Fawnfoot mussel. We found 3 live ones. Populations of certain native mussels are good indicators of water quality. (Pictured L-R, Renee La Perriere, Lalo Palacios, Dr. Tom Vaughan, Tom Miller)
Rio Grande International Study Center 1 West End Washington St. Bldg P-11, Laredo, Texas