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Macro-invertebrate surveys

Macro-invertebrate surveys


Macro-invertebrate surveys identify the water insects (macro-invertebrates) found in a body of water. The types of insect found are then used as bio-indicators to provide a measure of water quality and/or habitat condition. This method of biotic assessment can provide a more reliable indication of environmental stress than chemical analysis alone. A combination of sampling techniques may be adopted according to the survey objectives and habitat conditions:


Kick sampling

Surber sampling

Drift netting

Artificial substrate setting and sampling


The resulting data is analysed using the most appropriate methodology (e.g. WHPT, BMWP, RICT and LIFE) which use baseline metrics to produce accurate assessments.




Biotic assessments may be less costly than chemical testing and provides a significantly more accurate indication of habitat condition and water quality as well as reliable verification of chemical test results for Environmental Permitting and WFD requirements.


Ideal for indicating the presence of pollutants, tracing their source and quantifying the severity and extent of the problem. Also an excellent methodology for monitoring post-event improvements in habitat and water quality.


The survey technique is very versatile and can be used with many other survey methods (e.g. RIVPACS, SPEAR and WFD methods such as AWIC).