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An aquifer is an underground layer of water bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt). Groundwater from aquifers can be extracted using a water well


The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.

ANZECC 2000 Guidelines

The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZECC 2000) were published jointly by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) and the Agricultural and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand. The guidelines provide a set of tools for assessing and managing ambient water quality in natural and semi-natural water resources. They are not mandatory but can be used to guide practice and formulate policy. Read al about the policies here :
Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000) – The Guidelines – Volume 1


An apparatus for growing organisms (yeast, bacteria, or animal cells) under controlled condition


Conductivity is a measurement of the ability of water to conduct an electrical current. The conductivity of water is affected by the presence of dissolved substances in the water, including salts and heavy metals. Some of these substances are harmful to aquatic life and to humans, especially at high concentrations.

Dissolved Oxygen

Dissolved oxygen is used as an indicator of the health of a water body, where higher dissolved oxygen concentrations are correlated with high productivity and little pollution.


Water pollution caused by fecal contamination is a serious problem due to the potential for contracting diseases from pathogens (disease causing organisms).

Mātauranga Māori

Traditional and contemporary Māori knowledge system and practices


A chemical element that is the most abundant uncombined element in Earth’s atmosphere and occurs in all organisms. To be used by plants and animals, nitrogen must be fixed from the atmosphere and converted to ammonium (NH4) or nitrites (NO2-) and nitrates (NO3-). Plants in the legume family are able to fix nitrogen. Nitrogen can now also be fixed synthetically, and this process is now overtaking the amount naturally fixed by plants, producing GHG emissions in the process.
Nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) is an important plant fertiliser, but it is highly water soluble, so it leaches through soils very easily and reaches waterways. Sources of NO3-N include inorganic fertiliser, septic tanks and leaking sewerage systems. Nitrate can also enter waterways from the nitrification of the ammonia in animal waste. Total nitrogen (TN) is the sum of all organic and inorganic forms of nitrogen tested in a water sample.


Phosphates enter waterways from human and animal waste, phosphorus-rich bedrock, laundry and cleaning wastewater, industrial effluents, and fertilizer runoff. These phosphates become detrimental when they over-fertilize aquatic plants and increase the rate of natural eutrophication, which is sometimes called cultural eutrophication or accelerated eutrophication.


pH is really a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water. Water that has more free hydrogen ions is acidic, whereas water that has more free hydroxyl ions is basic. Since pH can be affected by chemicals in the water, pH is an important indicator of water that is changing chemically.


Turbidity is a measure of water clarity. Turbid water can look cloudy or opaque and can also affect the color of the water. A turbidity test will measure the decrease in the passage of light through a water sample based on the amount of floating particles in the water.

Total Coliforms, Fecal Coliforms, and E. Coli

The most basic test for bacterial contamination of a water supply is the test for total coliform bacteria. Total coliform counts give a general indication of the sanitary condition of a water supply.


  1. Total coliforms include bacteria that are found in the soil, in water that has been influenced by surface water, and in human or animal waste.
  2. Fecal coliforms are the group of the total coliforms that are considered to be present specifically in the gut and feces of warm-blooded animals. Because the origins of fecal coliforms are more specific than the origins of the more general total coliform group of bacteria, fecal coliforms are considered a more accurate indication of animal or human waste than the total coliforms.
  3. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the major species in the fecal coliform group. Of the five general groups of bacteria that comprise the total coliforms, only E. coli is generally not found growing and reproducing in the environment. Consequently, E. coli is considered to be the species of coliform bacteria that is the best indicator of fecal pollution and the possible presence of pathogens.

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