The ponds are instrumented with a pump-profiling device built by the Marine
Science Machine Shop. We affectionately call this device BORIS (Big Ol' Rig In Situ)
. BORIS consists of a suite of eight inlets through which water is pumped
from various levels in the ponds relative to the sediment water interface.
Water is pumped from one level, through a YSI 6600 sonde with multiple probes.
After four minutes (to ensure complete flushing of the water from the previous
level), chemical measures are made and temperatures are measured by
thermistors attached to each of eight inlet levels. All measures are logged
on a Data Collection Platform at the waters edge. Every half hour, the DCP is
queried by the computer server and the data are posted to the website.
Thus the chemodynamics and the temperature structure of the pond are available
in near real-time. This allows us to check the operation of the instrument
and to plan additional wet sample collection coincident with unusual and/or
The residence time of water in a pond is critical to its chemical
performance as a retention device. Therefore, outflow from Mirror and Swan Ponds are monitored by
stage gages, which measure the height of the water surface relative to the outlet.
Because weather conditions directly control the thermal structure of the pond,
and therefore its operation as a stratified or unstratified system, a complete weather
station has been outfitted and also delivers weather data directly to the website.
This weather station is also used in conjunction to a small watershed hydrology
project that can be found at www.mypond.uconn.edu.