River & Stream Programs

Surface Water Quality
To increase regional understanding of water quality conditions in surface water and groundwater resources, the Miami Conservancy District has managed a surface water quality monitoring program focused on nutrients in rivers since 2006. 

Nutrient Monitoring

Elevated levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are widespread in the surface water and groundwater of the Great Miami River Watershed. Nutrients enter water from numerous sources including discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants, runoff from urban and agricultural land, discharges from drainage tiles in agricultural fields, and infiltration into groundwater from failing septic systems. 

Nutrient enrichment occurs when excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus are present in the water column of lakes, rivers, and streams. Excess nutrients can disrupt aquatic ecosystems and cause biological impairment. 

Monitoring Bacteria Levels for Safe Recreation
The Miami Conservancy District and the University of Dayton partnered to develop a bacteria application that monitors and predicts river bacteria levels for safe recreation. The predictive application uses recent rainfall and changes in river flow to predict E. coli levels at two locations (Dayton Rowing Club and Huffman Dam). This application can be viewed here and also on the Great Miami Riverway website

RiverMobile Exhibit
From 2014 to 2018, the Miami Conservancy District provided a sponsorship to help build and operate the University of Dayton’s RiverMobile, a mobile learning studio. The 53-foot tractor-trailer traveled to schools and communities throughout the Great Miami River Watershed. Four uniquely fabricated classrooms enabled experiential education on our watershed, history, aquifer, rivers, and our global responsibility. 

The Miami Conservancy District also helped fund the dismantling and permanent installation of the RiverMobile at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Components of the mobile learning studio are now part of a stationary exhibit that opened February 2023 at the science center and natural history museum in north Dayton.

Trout in the Classroom
Miami Conservancy District sponsors several schools to participate in the Trout Unlimited Trout in the Classroom program. Students raise trout from eggs to fingerlings, monitor the tank water quality, and study stream habitat. The program’s goal is to foster a sense of ownership so that students will want to safeguard rivers.

Water Festivals
The Miami Conservancy District is a regular supporter of the Dayton Children’s Water Festival and the Butler County Water Festival. The two festivals together reach more than 2,500 students annually.