Research & Projects

The research team at the Phinizy Center for Water Sciences has conducted basic and applied research through collaborations with local, state, and industrial partners since 2000. Here, we highlight several completed and ongoing projects. Additional projects include river E. coli and fecal coliform monitoring, hydrological connectivity of oxbow lakes, river bathymetric monitoring, and pre and post- Best Management Practices (BMP) assessments.

Interested in research with the Phinizy Center? Our lab and field facilities serve as a hub for wetland research. Contact our Director of Research for research policies and to schedule a visit:, 706-396-1425.

Savannah River Continuous Monitoring

Since 2005, the Phinizy Center for Water Sciences has monitored water quality at multiple sites in the Savannah River. We use water quality sondes that collect multi-parameter data, including temperature, specific conductance, pH, and dissolved oxygen at 15-minute intervals. We analyze the following on a monthly basis: total nitrogen, total phosphorus, nitrate + nitrite, ammonia, total organic carbon, and dissolved organic carbon. The data from this project has been used to track short- and long-term changes in water quality along the Savannah River, examine the effects of dams on features like the Augusta Shoals, and parameterize water quality models. As the most geographically and temporally comprehensive water quality dataset available for the Savannah River, these results inform stakeholders surrounding the Savannah River, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Current partners: Augusta-Richmond County Utilities and Engineering, Columbia County Water Utility, City of North Augusta

Savannah River Monitoring Report

Comprehensive Savannah River Study

To determine the effect of an urban corridor on river ecology, researchers performed a comprehensive, diagnostic assessment of the condition of the Savannah River from 2006-2008. Among the many outcomes of this project, our results were compiled in the Savannah River At Risk report, which later served as an initial draft for Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) and the United States Corps of Engineers (USACE) documents.

Phinizy Swamp Constructed Wetlands

Our researchers worked with Augusta Utilities Department (AUD) to design one of the country’s largest manmade wetlands, used for the tertiary treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater. Design of the gravity-fed cells was enhanced by our experimentation with different wetland plant types, and optimization and tracer studies.

Are you in need of the expertise of Phinizy Center Scientists?

Contact our Research Director at, or 706-396-1425.