Report of the 1993 Flood-Related Water Quality Monitoring Workshop

October 31, 1995

The Upper Mississippi River Basin Association sponsored the 1993 Flood-Related Water Quality Monitoring Workshop. This report serves as the proceedings document for that workshop and as a final report of the EPA-funded 1993 flood water quality monitoring effort. It contains abstracts of the EPA-funded monitoring work conducted in the five Upper Mississippi River basin states, highlights of the major themes that emerged during the workshop discussions, and a listing of the participants’ consensus conclusions and recommendations.

The report contains: 

  • An evaluation of agricultural chemical contaminants by the USGS that is part of a multi-year effort by the Survey to assess water quality along the entire length of the Mississippi River
  • An overview of a private well survey conducted through an interagency effort involving 9 states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Presentations by state and federal researchers who received funding from the U.S. EPA to conduct monitoring related to the 1993 flood
  • A review of the federal “Water Quality Monitoring Guidance for Major Floods” and related issues and an opportunity for participants to provide feedback on the guidelines
  • A discussion of lessons learned from the 1993 flood-related water quality monitoring. These lessons are expressed as a series of conclusions and recommendations offered by workshop participants for the consideration of the federal Flood Event Water Quality Monitoring Working Group and others
  • Recommendations for future flood monitoring efforts, including: 
    • Flood event monitoring efforts are designed by what information is of greatest concern to human and environmental health. 
    • A National Water Quality Monitoring Council should be formed, with a subcommittee established to address data comparability issues.  
    • The National Water Quality Monitoring Council should promote use of water quality indicators that are cost-effective and readily transferable. 
    • State and federal agencies and tribal governments should establish mechanisms for at least annual coordination of flood-related monitoring. Coordination should include planning for information dissemination.
    • Event monitoring should be designed to enhance systems understanding to the extent consistent with event-specific information needs. It should also be designed in a way that is consistent across agencies to the extent possible given variations in the agencies’ objectives.