The Elk County Monitoring Project website is now up and running and available to the public.
The website, powered by NexSens Technology, relays data from the satellite telemetry systems installed in the streams and watersheds.
The monitoring project is designed to keep an eye on stream conditions in the wake of the Marcellus Shale drilling by measuring the temperature, flow and conductivity in each stream. The total project cost for the program is estimated at $329,330.
Two of the 11 systems are online and running.
"Both systems feeding the Brockway water supply on Whetstone Run and Rattlesnake Creek are up and running," said watershed specialist Kim Bonfardine. "Rattlesnake and Whetstone are two very pristine watersheds."
Bonfardine noted when accessing the website; "site number 5" is for Rattlesnake Creek and "site number 8" is Whetstone Run.
"I have 11 [satellite telemetry systems] total, but I only have two in at this time," Bonfardine said. "That should be enough to cover every public water supply."
Initially the website was to go online before the New Year.
"I shot to have it turned on for New Year's Eve, right at the very beginning of the month, but unbeknownst to several of us that were working to get this to happen, the NexSen people out of Canada were on vacation for a couple weeks, so they hadn't been getting our emails," Bonfardine said. They didn't know how anxious we were to get this going. It took us a couple weeks to work the bugs out, but now we have everything online."
To view the Elk County Monitoring Project website visit v4.wqdata.com. To login, the user name is "elk" and the password is "elk 2011".
Pick up a copy of the Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.