(2) US Rivers Get a Boost from Citizen Science Projects
Monday, December 3, 2012
From December 2012 World Rivers Review: South Yuba River Citizens League"(California): Safe-to-Swim Study. "The group’s water quality monitoring follows five parameters: dissolved oxygen, pH, water and air temperature, turbidity and conductivity. These are important because much of the biota living in a freshwater system is dependent on particular chemical and physical environments to survive. This includes temperature, which affects how much oxygen the water can hold and has an effect on chemical reactions such as those involving pH. Water also holds heat longer than air, so when rivers warm they will remain warmer for longer, reducing availability of oxygen for fish and other species. Turbidity and conductivity measure the suspended particulates (clarity of the water) and the speed at which the water conducts electricity (salt content), respectively"
(3) Puerto Rico Water Quality Monitoring Day (US EPA)-By Rachael Graham
"On April 9, 2016 more than 1,200 volunteers participated in Puerto Rico Water Quality Monitoring Day to measure…..you got it – water quality!
Over 150 sites throughout the island were sampled by volunteers from 30 municipalities as part of a worldwide effort to gather data using citizen science efforts. The data they collect will be uploaded and become part of a global data set for the World Water Monitoring Challenge.
This was the eighth year of the program coordinated by the San Juan Bay Estuary Program (SJBEP). Prior governmental and NGO sponsors for this event included EPA Region 2 Caribbean Environmental Protection Division (CEPD), Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (PREQB), the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Puerto Rico Water and Environment Association (PRWEA). For 2016, EPA Region 2’s Division of Environmental Science & Assessment partnered with SJBEP and CEPD and sent two biologists to provide technical assistance and training on additional water quality parameters for citizen science.
For the Water Monitoring Challenge, group leaders were trained to use a standardized water quality kit to measure dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and turbidity in weeks prior to the event and then pass this training on to their individual team participants. In 2016, EPA added two other important water quality parameters as a pilot – E.coli and benthic macroinvertebrates.
Approximately 20 volunteers collected samples from 21 locations throughout the San Juan Bay Estuary watershed for analysis for Escherichia coli (E. coli), a common fecal bacteria found in sewage and animal waste. Each participant set up a test to measure E.coli that does not require any equipment and can be incubated at room temperature, called a Compartment Bag Test (CBT), which has everything required to measure E.coli in one small kit. EPA and SJBEP personnel took split samples of the volunteer samples and measured a more rigorous test for E. coli to compare results. The objective was to test the CBT method to see if it can differentiate between low, moderate and high levels of E.coli. Since rapid tests, like the CBT, are simple to conduct and require no laboratory equipment, they allow citizen scientists to screen their drinking water and ambient water for relative levels of fecal bacteria more readily. If successful, the CBT may be turned into a kit and provided on a wider scale for next year’s monitoring event."