Monitoring Water Quality in the Rogue Basin

Who is Monitoring Water Quality?

Rogue Valley Council of Governments

Under the Bear Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and on behalf of the cities of Ashland, Central Point, Jacksonville, Medford, Phoenix, and Talent, as well as Jackson County, Medford Irrigation District (MID), Rogue River Valley Irrigation District (RRVID), and Talent Irrigation District (TID), the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) conducts monthly water quality monitoring at 23 sites along Bear Creek and its tributaries. RVCOG also conducts a Quality Assurance-Quality Control (QA/QC) split-sample with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) every other month. Samples are analyzed for temperature, conductivity, turbidity, E. coli, pH, and ammonia and total phosphorus (May through October).

Additionally, RVCOG samples 16 storm drain sites from Central Point to Ashland. Samples are analyzed for temperature, conductivity, turbidity, E. coli, pH, biological oxygen demand (BOD), and total phosphorus.

Lastly, RVCOG responds to water quality concerns at “hot spots.” Parameters analyzed are based on each particular circumstance (ex: if there’s a possible sewer-stormwater cross-connection, E. coli samples are collected).

To view water quality data from 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, visit the Water Quality Data Library.

*Between May and September, RVCOG will submit elevated bacteria level press releases to health authorities, municipalities, counties, and the media. These are advisory only, and are not meant to close access to rivers and creeks.*

Rogue Riverkeeper

Rogue Riverkeeper collects samples from public waterways throughout the summer to let the public know where it is safe to recreate. For more information on where the water is safe for water-contact recreation (wading, swimming), visit: The Swim Guide (pictured below).

Local Swim Guide monitoring locations.

Rogue Valley Sewer Services

Rogue Valley Sewer Services conducts creek walks and collects bacteria samples during the summer months (June through September) to identify sources of pollution in our creeks.

Jennie Morgan, Stormwater Program Manager, collecting a stormwater outfall sample during the summer monitoring season.

Water Quality Story Map

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TMDL and Storm Drain monitoring locations within the Bear Creek Watershed.