Connecting Channels Long Term Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance

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Water quality monitoring in the connecting channels of the Great Lakes is part of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s commitment to the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) under the auspices of the International Joint Commission (IJC, 1989) to evaluate the effectiveness of pollution control programs carried out in the Great Lakes Basin. Water quality monitoring in the Connecting Channels began with the establishment of a fixed sampling site on the Niagara River at Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) in 1975 and, over the next decade, additional sites were added on the St. Lawrence River at Wolfe Island in 1976 and upstream on the Niagara River at Fort Erie (FE) in 1983. Monitoring in the St. Clair River began at two locations, Port Lambton and Point Edward, in 1987.

Version 6.1.0
Data Steward Email
Data Collection Organization Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) / Environnement et Changement climatique Canada (ECCC)
Data Upload Organization Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) / Environnement et Changement climatique Canada (ECCC)
Progress Code onGoing
Maintenance Frequency Code asNeeded
Data source URL
Topic Category Code inlandWaters
Keywords Water quality, Nutrients, Organics, Metals, Niagara River, St. Clair River, St. Lawrence River, Wolfe Island
Spatial Extent -82.507° 42.659°, -76.237° 44.208° (W S, E N)
Vertical Extent 1969-12-31 to 1969-12-31
Temporal Extent 1975-05-14 to 2023-01-12
Date Published
Alternate Formats FGP-HNAP ISO:19115-2 (XML) , W3C DCAT (XML) , W3C DCAT (JSON-LD)


Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) / Environnement et Changement climatique Canada (ECCC). 2023-03-31. "Connecting Channels Long Term Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance" (dataset). 6.1.0. DataStream.

Funding Sources

Government of Canada

Data Collection Information

Monitoring sites consist of a fixed building and associated sampling infrastructure including a centrifugal particle separator that partitions the incoming whole water into dissolved and particulate (suspended sediment) phase samples. Submerged intakes are located within the river channels and water is pumped into the sampling buildings via submersible pumps. The polyethylene intake tubes terminate with a perforated polypropylene wand that acts as a coarse filter to prevent fish, algae, weeds, mussels and other debris from entering and fouling the intake. The wands are located approximately mid-depth and the oriented to face into the river flow at a downward angle to minimize the potential of dislodgement by large debris.
Drawn directly from the intake lines, whole water and dissolved phase samples are collected into pre-labelled and pre-cleaned or single use bottles that have been laboratory approved. Suspended sediment (particulate phase) samples are taken from particle separator’s internal collection bowl, homogenized in amber glass jars, and freeze dried. Water samples are analysed for a broad suite of compounds including nutrients, trace metals, and organic contaminants at ECCC’s National Laboratory for Environmental Testing (NLET) in Burlington and suspended sediment samples are similarly analysed at ECCC’s Quebec Laboratory for Environmental Testing (QLET), both using methods accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA).
The most recent variable and methods table can be downloaded here:

Data Collection Processing

As part of quality assurance procedures, replicate samples have been collected twice yearly at each station since 1981 by sequential sampling for each container type. Field blanks are processed four times each year by prefilling sampling bottles with ultra-trace clean (MilliQ) water in the laboratory and subjecting them to field handling, travel, and laboratory processes.
Values reported below the detection limit (i.e., trace values) and samples below the detection limit (i.e. left censored values) are denoted with a “T” flag and “L” flag respectively.

Open Government Licence (OGL)

See disclaimer for details.

Data Disclaimer

Environment and Climate Change Canada employs every reasonable effort whenever feasible, to ensure the currency, accuracy and precision of the information provided. However, there are some limitations due to the sources of the data and the technology used in its processing and management. Furthermore, the material or any data derived using the data is subject to interpretation. Users are responsible for verifying that the supplied material is appropriate for the use or application for which they wish to employ it. The water quality and aquatic ecosystem data released may include provisional and/or validated data. Provisional data should be considered with greater caution as it has yet to be validated with quality control and quality assurance activities, which may result in significant change made to the data. Environment and Climate Change Canada makes no representation or warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, as to the information presented, nor as to its fitness for any particular use. Environment and Climate Change Canada does not assume nor accept any liability arising from any use of the information and applications used to display or use the information. The data are not intended for any legal, or navigation purposes. The data may change from time to time as updated information is received. If any information seems to be incorrect, raises concerns, or for more information on this data, please communicate with the Environment and Climate Change Canada contact provided within the application. The material might contain links to third party sites. Environment and Climate Change Canada provides these links only as a service and convenience. Environment and Climate Change Canada takes no responsibility for the content at third party sites and in no way implies an endorsement or recommendation of the products, services or information found there. A third party site may have a privacy policy different from that of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada does not assume nor accept any liability arising from any use of third party sourced content.

API Access

curl -G --data-urlencode "\\$filter=DOI eq '10.25976/zspc-hq93'" -H "x-api-key: PRIVATE-API-KEY"



Dataset updated

Schema v2.13.2
Digest SHA3-256:0183732f69b198020e206c043a6bebc5852960e1a20e04e167d8dfe8d2b61c49
File size 1.23 MB


Updated the dataset

Schema v2.10.2
Digest SHA3-256:38c5ac59e3231bb0b41cbe7f1aafa0f2fccef4cdf38fc4fef2026394f73f9f21
File size 107.43 MB


DataStream system update: set citation to recommended default.


Updated the dataset along with some lat/long decimal discrepancies

Schema v2.6.14
Digest SHA3-256:3850c1bc47a9b5b1a8668c52afe1eca13e05da78b88451153ee2827bed4be518
File size 28.58 MB


Updating the file as well as some lat/long decimal discrepancies

Schema v2.6.14
Digest SHA3-256:d0d1ee5b681bceed1b7504e156aa51547118e353589787b0676c6ac849daf39a
File size 9.52 MB


Added missing moisture measurements from 2007-2011

Schema v2.6.4
Digest SHA3-256:6da9f9e8cd211c0df0631b5aef6800e29a168cfabfc929229c6d616b58c50219
File size 52.82 KB


Added Upper Connecting Channels data to the dataset

Schema v2.5.2
Digest SHA3-256:6663c89d0e74a849ef81d374a4ffe9ef7b7d487e18e73fcb067597bc0bdd685a
File size 10.62 MB


Fixing Coordinates for Lighthouse station (NOTL)

Schema v2.5.2
Digest SHA3-256:276c6fbe9bd0f2f1df91b368483ce9289ef6a5ca00753fb1eba16e5c1fe6bfc1
File size 31.47 MB


Replaced LCC data to correct coordinate errors

Schema v2.5.2
Digest SHA3-256:d9d4cf6cde143ee645b22d653fd1153eb75b09481ad6caec7c632065d9ba6854
File size 31.27 MB


Patrick LeClair added data for a parameter that was giving errors in the upload

Schema v2.5.2
Digest SHA3-256:54f8ac16063720ca5e9ef5594ec650be6211ce456f4045ba46db36878faed379
File size 19.24 KB


added Upper connecting channels data to the dataset

Schema v2.5.0
Digest SHA3-256:93ed7dae3d1b84ec7116e364b63c99638988328cd50fdb13d33b513d46b5f0a6
File size 10.56 MB


initial submission

Schema v2.5.0
Digest SHA3-256:d3a48bf1d6ec48f848359ab936c4a2ce439d6b40954dc4ad9444c9fb10097b54
File size 31.27 MB