Field Services

Water Quality Monitoring

OEWRI is a leader in stream sampling, trend analysis, and water quality data interpretation in southwest Missouri. OEWRI provides expert advice and technical support to watershed groups, local communities, and private businesses to help plan and implement baseline and regulatory water quality monitoring programs.  The Institute is equipped to cover a wide range of monitoring services such as 319 watershed projects, TMDL monitoring programs, and catchment runoff studies.

Stream Stability and Sedimentation

Research on the physical characteristics of streams of all sizes is needed to develop models of channel form and behavior that can be used for management purposes to address bank erosion and sedimentation problems in the Ozarks.  OEWRI focuses its physical river research efforts in three areas: channel morphology, long-term channel dynamics, and sediment contaminant dispersal.  Subsurface investigations and remote sensing methods are used in these studies to understand the response of watersheds and river systems to climate change and historical human disturbances.  

Soil and Water Conservation Practices

OEWRI is involved with efforts to develop effective soil and water conservation practices for both urban and agricultural areas in the Ozarks.  Urban projects include the evaluation of soil conditions and runoff characteristics for low impact developments, identifying causes of bed and bank erosion in urban streams, and understanding nutrient mobility in residential lawns. Agricultural conservation initiatives include studies on the mobility of potential contaminants after field treatments with biosolids.


OEWRI uses biomonitoring methods to evaluate the impacts of natural disturbance and human activities on river and lake biota. Projects involve surveys of macroinvertebrates, mussels, plankton, chlorophyll, and algae in streams and lakes. Biomonitoring surveys are used to compliment water quality studies if information on ecological impacts is required. In addition, OEWRI supports total-coliform and E. coli monitoring activities and microbial source tracking in Ozark watersheds.

Water Supply Vulnerability

OEWRI is involved with regional committees and research initiatives to better understand water supply vulnerability in the Ozarks. Population growth and land use change in the region are straining water resources due to water shortages, nonpoint pollution, waste water and septic field releases, and water rights issues.  OEWRI is presently involved with several community and regional initiatives to evaluate water supply problems in the southwest Missouri including the role that new infrastructure, conservation, and climate change may play on future supplies and economic growth. In addition, OEWRI is often included on emergency evaluation teams for sinkhole collapse and flood damage in Greene and Christian Counties, Missouri.

Field Equipment

Equipment Uses

Standard Operating Procedure

User Guide

Oxford X-Met 3000TX Portable XRF Analyzer

Measuring trace elements in soil and sediment SOP_XRF_XMET3000TXS_Handheld_2007.pdf User Guide

Oakton® pH 5+ Handheld pH Meter

Measures pH and Temperature in potable, surface, and wastewater

SOP-003-pH Handheld Oakton pH 5 + (2023)

User Guide

Traceable® Portable Conductivity Meter with Calibration

Determination of conductivity in potable, surface, and wastewater

SOP-004-Conductivity Cole Parmer Portable (2023)

User Guide

Trimble® Geo 7X  Handheld; Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

High-accuracy surveying, point calculations, graphical staking of points, lines, arc, alignments   User Guide

Topcon AT-G4 and AT-G6 Auto Levels

High-accuracy surveying, data logging SOP_Total_Station_New_Topcon_GPT7500Unofficial_2020.pdf User Guide

Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor

High-accuracy (within one meter) positioning, surveying, mapping, agriculture activities SOP_Bad_Elf_Static_Positioning_2019.pdf User Guide

YSI Professional Plus Instrument

Measurement of DO, SC, pH, and Cl SOP-010-DO, T, SC, and pH using YSI (2023) User Guide

Optical DO Probe

Measurement of Dissolved Oxygen    

Giddings Soil Probe

Hydraulic soil sampling, coring, and drilling    

Handheld Coring Devices

Collect sediment and soil cores    

Depth-integrated Water Quality Samplers

Sampling entire water column SOP_Water_Sample_Collection_Procedures_Nalgene1100_2010.pdf


Access to streams, rivers, and lakes   User Guide

Reach RS3 RTK GNSS receiver with tilt compensation

Survey grade precision, even in hard-to-reach spots   User Guide


Survey-grade echo sounder designed for maximum reliability and exceptional bottom tracking   User Guide