On-line measurements provide more accurate estimates of nutrient loading: a case of the Yläneenjoki river basin, southwest Finland

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Automatic on-line measurement stations for water quality components and water level were equipped with dataloggers and GSM transmitters; the stations were installed at two sites in the Yläneenjoki river basin, SW Finland. Measurements during five seasons in 2006–2007 were conducted to find out whether the produced data would provide more accurate estimates of material and nutrient transport than traditional water sampling. Sensor-based monitoring estimates for transport of total suspended solids (TSS) were clearly higher (difference -6–61%), total phosphorus also higher, and that of nitrate (NO3-N) somewhat lower (difference (−51%–4%), as compared with manual sampling based estimates. The winter season studied here was mild i.e. winter-type which is becoming more common in Finland with the changing climate. Sensor-based monitoring proved its benefits particularly in such conditions.

Keywords: diffuse loading, monitoring, nitrate, sensors, turbidity

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