Take care of your favorite lake or stream; volunteers needed for water monitoring

ST. GEORGE – If you are interested in becoming a citizen scientist, or just helping look after your favorite lake or stream, Utah Water Watch is looking for volunteer water testers in the St. George area.

Utah Water Watch is a volunteer program that engages the public in helping to monitor water quality and report the information back to watershed managers at the Utah Division of Water Quality.

Image courtesy Utah Water Watch | St. George News
Image courtesy Utah Water Watch | St. George News | Click image to enlarge

The program is managed by University of Southern Utah Water Quality Extension in partnership with the Water Quality Division. It is a program that allows the public to cooperate with the Water Quality Division in monitoring Utah’s lakes and streams.

Water Watch is a continuation of past volunteer monitoring efforts in Utah. For more than 10 years, students and volunteers have monitored water quality through successful programs such as Utah Lakes Watch, Utah Stream Team, and Stream Side Science.

Water monitors perform a series of simple tests for oxygen content, pH, turbidity and other factors. They also make field observations about water surface, clarity, color, odor, algae cover, and the presence or absence of dead fish.

Volunteers also note current and past weather, and recent rainfall totals and record their data online.

Monitors typically commit to visiting and testing their water site once a month from May through September, which is when the highest recreational use occurs on Utah’s lakes, rivers and streams. Monitoring during the remainder of the year is voluntary.

Individuals, group leaders or entire groups can volunteer, including teachers and students, boaters fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts, church and community groups and rural and urban residents.

The training for new volunteers will be held Wednesday from 5-7:30 at Tonaquint Park in St. George.

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