Volunteers Sought for Water Quality Monitoring

The Kentucky Watershed Watch Program is offering free training to persons interested in learning how to take water samples and monitor water quality in the Upper Green River Basin.

The training will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8:30 a.m. until noon in Room 2134 of the Engineering Biologic Science Building located at 1500 Chestnut St. on the Western Kentucky University campus in Bowling Green. Parking will be available at 1400 Chestnut St.

Volunteers will be taught to take qualified water samples that will be analyzed by a professional laboratory. They will also learn how to collect basic water quality field data. Participants are advised to dress for field work, since some of the training will take place at a local stream.

“No previous experience is required to become a Watershed Watch volunteer,” said Dale Reynolds, Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) coordinator of the Upper Green River Basin. “We welcome anyone who is willing to pitch in to help protect the waterways of their community.”

Watershed Watch volunteers in the Upper Green River Basin participate in three annual sampling events in waterways that flow through Adair, Allen, Barren, Breckenridge, Butler, Casey, Edmonson, Grayson, Green, Hardin, Hart, LaRue, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, Taylor, and Warren counties. The May samples are tested for pesticides and herbicides, the July samples for pathogens and the September samples for metals and salts.

“Volunteer activities help scientists understand the effect that weather and land use have on local water bodies,” said Paulette Akers, manager of the DOW Watershed Management Branch. “The information they provide allows Kentucky to have an extensive database of current water quality information.”

Prospective participants are asked to register for the Sept. 8 training event by contacting JoAnn Palmer by email at joann.palmer@ky.gov or by phone at 800-928-0045.

The training is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Division of Water, the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the Upper Green River Watershed Watch, the city of Bowling Green Public Works Department and Warren County Stormwater Management. It is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under §319(h) of the Clean Water Act, through DOW to Watershed Watch in Kentucky. For more information about the training and Watershed Watch in Kentucky, contact Dale Reynolds at 270-746-7475.