Citizens' Water Quality Monitoring

We cannot fully protect and restore our waterways without a thorough understanding of their health and the impacts upon them. The citizen scientists of Citizens' Water Quality Monitoring provide an essential piece to this puzzle.

Monitoring occurs the second Saturday of each month, March - November.

Our Program

Since 2010, Citizens' Water Quality Monitoring has used US EPA approved methods to measure 8 parameters in volunteer collected samples from 70 + sites in the lower Great Miami Watershed, including major tributaries Dry Fork Whitewater River, Whitewater River, Taylor Creek. The data are synthesized each year to compare tributaries and the longitudinal profile of the GMR. The samples are analyzed by volunteers at the University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies on Oxford Road, North of New Haven, in what was formerly the South Shaker Farm property- a beautiful setting. The project has been funded by OEEF, Hamilton County Soil and Water District, Oxbow Inc, Chevron Texaco Inc, Land Conservancy of Hamilton County and the University of Cincinnati in the use of the laboratory space and equipment storage.

These data are critical to long-term monitoring of our local waters; the Ohio EPA surveys the waters once every 15-18 years. Additional sampling sites are created as impacts present themselves and development occurs.

We collect quantitative data on the following parameters:

  • conductivity
  • pH
  • turbidity
  • chlorophyl
  • optical whiteners
  • nitrate
  • total phosphorus
  • bacteria (e.coli and total coliforms)

The lab is led by Michael Miller, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Cincinnati.

Why we collect these data...

We continue to work toward creating a citizen-friendly online database of our data and their implications. Provisional data and our annual state of the Great Miami presentations are available here. The data are used to evaluate long-term trends and understand the impacts of various land uses. We work with local government agencies on case studies, such as the use of cover crops on local farms, and to help identify and address possible issues.

Along with the sponsors below, special acknowledgments must be made to our other fine supporters: Oxbow, Inc; Chevron; and, of course, our volunteers who make this entire program possible.


Soil and Water UC Field Studies