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Citizens' Water Quality Monitoring - VOLUNTEERS

The most important asset to our program is our volunteers.

Are you interested in joining a vibrant group of volunteers contributing to clean water in our community?

Use this web page to:

  • explore exactly what volunteers do and how it's done
  • download forms and information pertinent to volunteers

Find the next monitoring date here.

The blue boxes below give a general overview of how sampling is done and what analysts can expect, particularly on their first day in the lab.

The training videos (see right column) give a thorough explanation of our program and exactly how all tasks, in the field and lab, are carried out. The videos also help us comply with Ohio EPA Level II Credible Data Program credentialing.

Find photos of Citizens' Water Quality Monitoring and our volunteers by visiting our page on facebook!

SAMPLERS

If you are interested in sampling, we provide 2 sampling bottles per site. One is for the bacteria test and the other is for the rest of the tests.

When taking samples:

  • Rinse the bottle and lid three times downstream of your sampling site so as not to disturb any sediment in the area you will be sampling.
  • Take the sample in moving water
  • Try to collect the sample from the middle of the water column, trying not to pull sediment from the bottom or floating material on the top
  • Fill out a field data sheet when you collect each sample
  • You will be asked to either pull samples in one large bottle (250 mL) and one large and one small bottle (60 mL).
  • Label each bottle with the site id. You’ll find this info on the field data sheet.

We also have sampling sticks available to access hard to reach moving water. Most sites are at bridges where the land adjacent to the bridge is public property.

Samples should arrive at the lab between 9:00 and 11:00am. To conform to quality controls, all samples must be taken the morning of analysis.

If you'd like to see a demonstration of proper sampling technique, simply come to the next sampling day at the field station where we can do this on site at Howards Creek.

ANALYSTS

All volunteer analysis is done at the UC Center for Field Studies. Here we have access to a professional quality lab and equipment.

What to Expect When You Arrive at the Lab...

Mike Miller, retired UC biology professor, will give you an overview of our program and then take you on a tour of the lab, explaining the analyses we run and why. Analysts can then choose one test and perform it across all samples for the day. Mike will give thorough and easily mastered steps for the analysis you choose. We also have more challenging analyses for those experienced in lab techniques.

Lunch is provided.

Analysts should arrive at the UC Center for Field Studies around 10:30am. Analysis generally takes 2-3 hours depending upon the parameter being tested.

We have volunteers of all ages assist in the lab, from high school through retirees. The lab is an enjoyable and relaxed environment with music, conversation, and lunch!