Water quality sensor hitching ride on Mississippi River boat

Taken by Anita Gilley of Gladstone Illinois

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Officials say a sensor attached to the American Queen steamboat will give scientists and cities a better understanding of nutrient levels and water quality along the entire length of the Mississippi River.

U.S. Geological Survey officials, a group of Mississippi River city mayors and the operators of the American Queen gathered Monday for a news conference on the steam-driven vessel in Memphis.

Good water quality is vital for cities that get their drinking water from the heavily traveled river. Mississippi River water is also used for industrial purposes and by tourists who enjoy recreational activities along the waterway.

Although 3,700 water quality sensors area already in fixed locations, officials say the American Queen’s device will help build a larger picture of water quality as it travels from Minnesota to Louisiana.

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