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Medina River analyses to be released April 10

Special to the Courier

For the past 18 months, a dozen trained local volunteers - known as the Bandera Stream Team - have conducted monthly tests of the quality of water at four different spots on the Medina River in Bandera County.

Neal Denton and Jennifer Buratti of Texas State University's River Systems Institute will present the results of those tests at 5 pm, Tuesday, April 10, at the Bandera County Public Library.

Sponsored by the Medina River Protection Fund, the Bandera Stream Team is a grassroots effort to engage volunteer monitors in effective strategies for protecting water resources and resolving water quality problems originating at the community level.

The stream teams monitor the water environment in more than 100 sites throughout the state with regular reports by more than 1,000 trained volunteers. It is funded through an Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Pollution grant under section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act.

The focus of the Bandera Stream Team is on the Upper Medina River Basin, which stretches from the northwest corner of Bandera County to Medina Lake, and the Diversion Dam, just across the Medina County line.

The team is concerned with identifying different sources of pollution that can originate from many different locations and are generally carried off the land by storm water runoff.

Analysis of pollution is done by observing trends and correlations over an extended period of time. The Bandera Stream Team conducts monthly tests to track the biological community of the Medina River within Bandera County over time.

The measures include water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, water clarity and E.coli.

They also gather additional environmental information during monitoring, such as algae cover, water color, flow level, water surface conditions, water odor, weather conditions and rainfall accumulation.

As declines in water quality are detected, the Stream Team will work with the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District to identify and address the sources and severity of the pollution.

The April 10 program will also include presentation of an online data viewer for team members to monitor their results. New testers are being recruited for the Bandera team and interested persons are welcome to attend.

Pictured: Derek Draper and Nicole Mebane of the Bandera Stream Team, tested water on the Medina River at City Park.