Written by Nicole Petersen, BBP Water Quality Specialist
The Barnegat Bay Partnership operates continuous water-quality monitoring stations in the bay at three sites: Seaside Park Yacht Club, Mantoloking Yacht Club, and Morrison’s Marina in Beach Haven. At each location, a water quality instrument – an EXO2 datasonde – collects data (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and pH) every 15 minutes and transmits it in near real-time to the NJDEP’s continuous water quality monitoring website. In 2019, we collected a total of 59,703 data readings at the three stations.
During a routine maintenance visit in April to our Beach Haven site, we noticed that the EXO2 deployment tube – pvc pipe attached to a 4×4 – had come loose from the strapping that secures it to the piling. The 4×4 is lag-bolted into the piling, so the pipe remained in place but would swing with the wind and current. From January to April, 85% of the daily maximum wind speeds there were 20 mph or greater with a maximum reading of 73 mph. These wind conditions, combined with high wave energy from westerly winds, may have placed extra stress on the straps.
Re-securing the pipe was a high priority for us, and since we would have to go into the water to do it, we decided this was the perfect time to remove the pipe for cleaning and re-painting. Excessive fouling (build-up of plant and animal life, such as barnacles) on the pipe and surrounding structure can affect the collection of data. This pipe had been in the water continuously since it was originally installed in November, 2016. We had scraped barnacles off the pipe in November of 2019 while it was still in the water, but now we had an opportunity to give it a more thorough cleaning.
After removing the pipe, we scraped and washed it, sanded it and then painted it with anti-fouling paint. Once the pipe was dry, we reattached it to the 4×4 and piling, then redeployed the EXO2 datasonde within the pipe. The holes along the length of the pipe allow for water flow as the tide comes in and out, preventing stagnant water from sitting in the pipe. We were able to complete this maintenance in just over 24 hours so that there was little disruption in the data being collected.