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Water Quality Monitoring
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Live Water Quality Data from the Lake
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Onondaga Lake: Ice Cover

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Live Water Quality Data from the Lake

Onondaga County deployed an automated Monitoring Buoy at the primary lake sampling site (South Deep Station) from 2000 through 2012, which provided continuous monitoring of the water quality of Onondaga Lake. 

As part of an effort to increase data sharing and reduce data redundancy, Honeywell has provided Onondaga County access to data transmitted from its robotic monitoring buoy located at South Deep Station.  This buoy is maintained and operated by the Upstate Freshwater Institute (UFI), as part of Honeywell’s nitrate addition pilot project.  Measurements from this buoy support assessment of compliance with water quality standards (dissolved oxygen and water clarity) and provide near-real-time information on important physical, chemical, and biological processes (e.g., primary production).  The data sharing effort also helps all parties collect high quality data for the best value to the community and stakeholders.

These data can be accessed by clicking the UFI Logo: UFI Logo Animated GIF


South Deep Buoy Current ProfilesOnondaga Lake South Deep Profiles

Note: Data are provisional unless otherwise stated


The plots above are the most recently uploaded profiles measured by the robot. They are representative of the conditions at the time the measurements were made.



The data that are collected from the robots are often interesting because they tell various stories as to events that occur within the monitored systems. For example, a plot showing the maximum winds over the last 24 hours may be interesting simply because we may have observed particularly high winds and the robot’s meteorological station has quantified just how ‘windy’ it had been.  Likewise, observing dissolved oxygen depletion from the lower waters of Onondaga Lake during the summer months may be of  interest. There are numerous additional uses for these data.


Anomalous or incorrect data may still be transmitted, caused by mechanical problems or invalid readings from occurrences such as instrument fouling by biological materials, instrument malfunction due to flotsam and/or jetsam, unusually high battery drain, failure of solar energy panels and/or radio frequency noise transmitted with the data signal.

The data from the buoy (above) have not been reviewed or validated by WEP staff and, therefore, is considered to be provisional. WEP is not responsible, nor does it assume any liability, for any damages caused by inaccuracies in this data or documentation or as a result of the failure of the software to function in a particular manner.

WEP makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or utility of this information, nor does the fact of distribution constitute a warranty. Final data will be published yearly in the Onondaga Lake Monitoring Program's Annual Report when issued by WEP.

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