The Friends water quality program includes instream and stormwater outfall monitoring.
Instream Monitoring Overview
Volunteer water quality monitoring plays an important role in educating the public about water quality issues and promoting stewardship of water resources. Volunteer monitoring can go beyond education to identify specific problems, measure progress toward water quality improvements and shape public policy. Data collected by volunteers may be used by local and state government for decision-making and enforcement. Currently the Friends are working with volunteers in the Headwaters area (above the confluence with the Kingsbury Branch) and through the Four Rivers Partnership.
Since 2007, the Cabot Conservation Committee and the Marshfield and Plainfield Conservation Commissions have worked together with the Friends and other members of the Winooski Headwaters Community Partnership to monitor water quality in their towns. Commission members along with other volunteers have collected data for a number of water quality parameters including bacteria.
In 2008, the Friends and many other partners formed the Four Rivers Partnership. The goal of this partnership is to work together to protect and restore the Winooski watershed between the Kingsbury Branch and Dog River including the subwatersheds of the Stevens and North Branch. This group will be monitoring sites on the Winooski River, North Branch, Stevens Branch and Jail Branch in 2010. This community-based volunteer water quality monitoring program complements the work of the three high schools in the area (U32, Montpelier and Spaulding).
You can view the current year's data, collected from June - September on this map.
Prior Years' Water Quality Monitoring Results
Over the past several years, we have monitored two separate sections of the Winooski Watershed - the headwaters area including Cabot, Marshfield and Plainfield and the Montpelier-Barre-Worcester section that includes both the North Branch and the Stevens Branch.
Four Rivers Partnership Area (Barre-Montpelier includes sites on North and Stevens Branch, the Dog River and the Winooski River)
Stormwater Outfall Monitoring Overview
The stormwater drainage systems are designed to collect and convey only precipitation and snow melt. However, for various reasons, other water sources and associated contaminants may enter the system. These ‘illicit discharges’ may be the result of either direct or indirect connections. Examples of direct connections include:
- wastewater piping either mistakenly or deliberately connected to the stormdrain system;
- a shop floor drain that is connected to the stormdrain system; and a cross-connection between the sanitary sewer and stormdrain system.
Examples of indirect connections include:
- infiltration into the stormdrain system from a leaking sanitary sewer line;
- infiltration or surface discharge into the stormdrain system from a failed septic system;
- a spill flowing to a catchbasin;
- and materials (e.g., paint or used oil) dumped directly into a catchbasin.
The Friends have conducted studies and worked with the Public Works Departments in Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, Richmond, Waterbury and Berlin to locate and correct sources of pollutants in the storm water drainage system. You can access the reports online.