Water Quality Monitoring

Click map cropping to explore the Blackstone River Watershed Interactive Water Quality Map

The Blackstone River Coalition watershed-wide volunteer water quality monitoring program has a place for you!

Download a 2016 data sheet

Testing Dates for 2016:

  • April 9
  • May 14
  • June 11
  • July 9
  • August 13
  • September 10
  • October 8
  • November 12

Do you like:

  • Being outdoors and mucking about in streams?
  • Doing real science that can make a difference?
  • Understanding how land uses can impact water quality?
  • Finding and reporting pollution “hot spots”?

If you answer “Yes” or even “Maybe” to any of these questions, keep reading!

What’s involved in being a Blackstone River Volunteer Water Quality Monitor?

Here are some of the many opportunities:

  • Being part of a well-respected team who gathers reliable data, acts as watershed stewards, reports pollution problems, and cares deeply about our water resources.
  • Training to do chemical and physical monitoring as well as habitat surveys. Tests includes dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, temperature, pH, turbidity, bacteria.
  • Sampling at a designated site on the second Saturday morning of every month from April through November.
  • Bringing a grab sample to a central location for further analysis.
  • Conducting sampling analysis at the central location.
  • Helping to develop the Blackstone Watershed Water Quality Report Card.
  • Participating in a program that helps to achieve a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone River.

The Blackstone River Watershed-wide Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program is coordinated by the Blackstone River Coalition: the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, the Blackstone River Watershed Association and the Blackstone River Watershed Council – BRC members – each sponsor a monitoring team.

To join a team, contact Program Coordinator Susan Thomas.

Volunteer water quality monitoring in the Blackstone River watershed:

  • 1999: Blackstone Headwaters Monitoring Team launched by Massachusetts Audubon Society – 20 monitors at 24 sites.
  • 2000: Birth of the Blackstone River Coalition (BRC): members include the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition (BHC), the Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA), the Blackstone River Watershed Council (BRWC), the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission of the National Park Service, and Mass Audubon.
  • 2003: Under the BRC, the water monitoring program goes watershed-wide and forms two new teams, one in the mid-reach region (from Worcester to the RI border) and one in Rhode Island – 45 monitors at 50 sites.
  • 2003: BRC launches the Campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone River.The Campaign focuses on storm water impacts on water quality and quantity, with an outreach component that engages watershed residents in changing their habits to reduce those impacts. The water-monitoring program is a major element of the Campaign.
  • 2004: Real science! Quality Assurance Project Plan approved by EPA, RI DEM, Mass DEP – 80 monitors at 70 sites.
  • 2005: BRC receives the US EPA Environmental Merit Award for its volunteer monitoring program.
  • NOW: You join the program!
Watershed report cards:
Report Card for 2015 | Summit 2016
Report Card for 2014 | Summit 2015
Report Card for 2013 | Summit 2014
Report Card for 2012 | Summit 2013
Report Card for 2011
Report Card for 2010
Report Card for 2009
Report Card for 2008
Report Card for 2007
Report Card for 2006
Report Card for 2005
Report Card for 2004