EPT stands for Ephemeroptera (mayfly), Plecoptera (stonefly) and Trichoptera (caddisfly) which are macroinvertebrates that are sensitive to water pollution. Because these species are generally found in streams with good water quality, their abundance can give us an idea about how healthy a stream is.
The percentage of EPT-taxa (or %EPT) is most commonly calculated by counting the total number of mayfly, stonefly and caddis fly taxa in a sample, then dividing that number by the taxa richness and multiplying by 100. A high percentage of EPT taxa indicates good stream health. However, in some New Zealand streams there are naturally few mayflies, stoneflies, or caddis flies present.