Random Ambient Monitoring System (RAMS)
The Random Ambient Monitoring System, started in January 2007, is a component of DWQ's Ambient Monitoring System. RAMS is a probabilistic monitoring initiative where sampling locations are randomly located on freshwater streams throughout the state.
Initially, twenty-nine sampling sites were chosen for the program. These sites were sampled once per month for two years, then retired. New sites will be chosen and sampled for two years. This cycle will continue for the life of the program. The current sites are listed in the table below.
The following parameters are collected once per month for a total of 24 times in two years: dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, temperature and pH; alkalinity, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, dissolved organic carbon, turbidity, total metals, dissolved metals, mercury, and volatile organics. The following parameters are collected once every other month for a total of 12 times in two years: cyanide, sulfide, semi-volatile organics, pesticides, and PCBs.
RAMS has several valuable features. DWQ’s ambient monitoring network has historically focused on large rivers and area with known water quality problems. As a result, the ambient program does not have much data on smaller streams. Because most streams in North Carolina are small, the majority of RAMS sites are also on small streams. In addition, RAMS will allow DWQ to answer broad questions about the water quality of North Carolina streams with a statistical rigor that had not been possible before. RAMS will also allow DWQ to collect data on water quality parameters that are rarely examined. Finally, it will also aid in the development of alternative methods of measuring metals, such as dissolved concentrations and toxicity via biotic ligand models.
2013-2014 RAMS Stations Historic RAMS Stations Click on a marker to see station details.
Environmental Sciences Section 1621 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1621 919.743.8400