In 2017 and 2018 Oak Creek Ambassadors worked with ADEQ and Red Rock Ranger District to install an E. coli processing lab at the Red Rock Ranger Station. Ambassadors were trained by ADEQ to collect and process E. coli samples collected at 5 sampling sites along Fossil Creek.
In 2014, the Oak Creek Sampling Program was implemented focusing on ephemeral washes to sample E. coli levels of stormwater runoff. We had a team of volunteer storm chasers that went out to 14 sampling points to gather data during storm events. Our sampling demonstrated extreme E. coli exceedances in this runoff water, which eventually flows into Oak Creek. This important work will help identify places where E. coli may be a concern.
In 2015, the Oak Creek Watershed Council had two separate sampling programs in play.
The first sample plan tested the effectiveness of rainwater catchment systems for mitigating non-point pollutants on residential properties in West Sedona. These tests can only be conducted during storm events.
The second sample plan tested base flow in Oak Creek at seven different locations in Oak Creek Canyon and Middle Oak Creek. These tests were taken on a regular basis to determine the effectiveness of the Oak Creek Ambassador Program.
During the summer months of 2017 and 2018, Oak Creek Ambassadors worked with ADEQ and Red Rock Ranger District to install an E. coli processing lab at the Red Rock Ranger Station. Ambassadors were trained by ADEQ to collect and process E. coli samples collected at four sites along Fossil Creek. Currently, we are gathering data that we collected during those years and data collected by volunteer groups, USFS, Arizona State Parks, and ADEQ. With an extensive look at water quality data for Oak Creek and West Fork during the summer months of 2017 and 2018, we hope to better understand trends in E. coli during high-use times, storm events, and areas of concern along these popular creeks.
Stay tuned for results!