The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) is a program of Dickinson College that has monitored the water quality of the Letort Spring Run since 1996. Students and staff members collect water samples from 13 sites along the stream once every other month.
These samples provide a variety of baseline chemical measurements that indicate the health of the stream, including:
- Temperature of the stream: used as an indicator for the rate of many biochemical reactions in the stream and as an indicator of certain land and water uses.
- pH: measures the acidity of the water. Used as an indicator of impacts from acid mine drainage.
- Conductivity: measures the ability of water to carry an electrical current in the presence of ions, and is used as an indicator of inorganic compounds, such as dissolved salts or heavy metals.
- Nitrate and phosphate: water samples are collected from sites along the Letort, brought back to ALLARM’s lab and tested for nitrate and phosphate content.
- In addition, ALLARM records visual observations such as any debris, sediment and vegetation growth in the stream.
ALLARM presents a water quality data report to the Letort Regional Authority bimonthly.