The Stream Pollution Trends Monitoring Program (SPoT) assesses contaminant concentrations in selected large rivers throughout California SPoT is designed to improve our understanding of watersheds and water quality by monitoring changes in both over time, as well as evaluating impacts of land use and development, and assessing the effectiveness of regulatory programs and conservation efforts at the watershed scale.
The overall goal of this long-term trends assessment is to detect meaningful changes in the concentrations of contaminants and their biological effects in large watersheds at time scales appropriate to management decisions. Sediment toxicity and a suite of pesticides, trace metals, and industrial compounds have been analyzed from 100 sites annually since 2008.
SPoT Reports and Fact Sheets
The toxicity categories in these reports ("non-toxic," "some toxicity," "moderate toxicity," and "high toxicity") are assigned to SPoT sites using this flow chart.
- Spatial and Temporal Trends in Toxicity and Chemical Contamination Relative to Land Use in California Watersheds: Ten Year Trends 2008-2017
This report covers ten-year trends of toxicity and contaminants in major rivers of California and assesses the impact of land use to water quality for the same period.
- Spatial and Temporal Trends in Toxicity and Chemical Contamination Relative to Land Use in California Watersheds: Seven-Year Trends 2008-2014 (Accessible Version)
This report covers seven-year trends of toxicity and contaminants in major rivers of California and assesses the impact of land use to water quality for the same period.
- Trends in Chemical Contamination, Toxicity and Land Use in California Watersheds: Five-Year Trends 2008-2012 (Accessible Version)
This report covers five-years trends of toxicity and contaminants in major watersheds of California and assesses impact of land uses to water quality for the same period. The report also covers Regional trends.
- Initial Trends in Chemical Contamination, Toxicity and Land Use in California Watersheds: Field Years 2009-2010 (Accessible Version, with appendices)
This report covers the second annual SPoT survey and identifies trends of toxicity and chemical contamination, and the watershed land uses associated with their presence in California streams.
- Statewide Perspective on Chemicals of Concern and Connections between Stream Water Quality and Land Use: Field Year 2008 (Accessible Version, with appendices)
This report covers the first annual SPoT survey and identifies toxic effects and chemicals of concern and the watershed land uses associated with them in California streams.
- SWAMP Statewide Stream Contaminant Trend Monitoring at Integrator Sites: July 2008 (Accessible Version)
The original proposal for the SPoT Program, including the 2008 monitoring plan.
- Toxicity Work Group Recommendation for Evaluating Toxicity Data from
Tests Conducted at a Non-Standard Test Temperature: March 2016 (Accessible Version)
The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance for data users as SPoT and other SWAMP monitoring programs continue to utilize low temperature test methods. The initial focus is on data generated for tests with H. azteca, but the principles apply to tests with other standard test organisms as well.
- Updated recommendations for monitoring current-use pesticide toxicity in water and sediment in the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program: September 2015 (Accessible Version)
This technical memo explains SWAMP's recommendations for choosing appropriate species and tests to monitor for current-use pesticides in urban and agricultural settings.
- SPoT Quality Assurance Project Plan: August 2019 This QAPP details the quality assurance, quality control, and other technical activities necessary to ensure that the work performed satisfies SPoT’s performance criteria.
- Data collected by the SPoT program are stored in the California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN)
Water quality, toxicity, and habitat data can be queried by selecting “SWAMP Stream Pollution Trends” from the “Select Parent Projects” filter.
Debra Denton, Ph.D.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
Phone: (916) 341-5520
Michelle Hladik, Ph.D.
U.S. Geological Survey
Phone: (916) 278-3183
Kelly Moran, Ph.D
TDC Environmental, LLC
Phone: (650) 627-8690