Phoenix was recently awarded several Stream Condition Index (SCI) projects in Florida. SCI is a surface water quality assessment method which relies on hydrobiological indicators (freshwater macroinvertebrates) as a means of determining water quality. SCI was developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and is often required downstream of facilities including, but not limited, to wastewater treatment plants, mining facilities, paper mills, or other facilities with major point-source or non-point source discharges. In many cases, SCI is used to supplement standard water quality monitoring within the same streams.
SCI is initiated by conducting a habitat assessment within a 100-meter stretch of the stream in accordance with FDEP’s Standard Operating Procedures. The specific stretch is assigned a score based on several criteria relating to and potentially affecting the overall productive habitat in the system. Aquatic habitat (e.g. leaf packs, snags, aquatic vegetation, submerged roots, and rock) are sampled for macroinvertebrates. Samples are analyzed by a certified taxonomic laboratory and the stream is assigned a score based on species richness and diversity.
Phoenix has SCI certified scientists who have conducted SCI and rapid-biorecon assessments for over 10 years on streams throughout Florida for the FDEP and several of the Water Management Districts.