COLUMBIA - The Center for Watershed Management and Water Quality monitors water quality around the University of Missouri campus daily.
Hydrologist Jason Hubbart said any run-off water from the university directly flows into Hinkson Creek, which is currently on the list of impaired waters from the Environmental Protection Agency.
"We need to know that the quantity of quality water in the central United States is declining," Hubbart said. "We tend to think we have a lot of water and nothing to worry about, but we have to bring everybody together to address complex, contemporary water resource problems and new innovations to be better stewards of water resources."
The center has seven facilities to monitor water quality near the campus for pollutants.
"We monitor the depth of the water, the temperature of the water and the turbidity of the water," Hubbart said. "Everything draining from the University of Missouri campus goes to the creek, which eventually affects residents around and folks down all the way to the gulf."
The University of Missouri has been closely working with the center to improve water quality for Columbia.
"It's a long-term investment and this project has cost tens of thousands of dollars already," Hubbart said. "This is the first time I'm aware of a project of this magnitude globally. It's a really big deal."
Some residents around Columbia said they notice certain things about the water quality in the city.
"We have calcium built up in our toilets that we have to clean out periodically," Albert Jeffrey said.
Jeffrey's wife said compared to the water in St. Louis, which is where they came from four years ago, the water condition is terrible.
Also, Victoria Warren, who lives in Jefferson City, said there is a difference between water in Columbia and Jefferson City.
"I'm sure both places have good quality water, but the water in Columbia has more of a chlorine taste in it," Warren said.
Hubbart said drinking water does not directly come from surface water, so residents do not have to worry.
"We need to better understand what water quality is and hopefully we can remove Hinkson Creek from the 303(d) list," Hubbart said.
The center will create 10 or more sites by the summer of 2014.