Monitor Water Quality

Success Stories -
Since 1980, the Mississippi Headwaters Board has maintained a network of high school monitoring programs. Today 18 schools monitor nine physical, chemical, and biological indicators. The Board provides training and helps schools obtain the necessary equipment.

A naturalist and teacher from Minnewashta Elementary School organize students to monitor wetlands. Through field work and laboratory experiments, students meet Minnesota's 4-5 grade standards for Inquiry and Scientific Applications. Students share findings through a science festival.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Identify your watershed.
  2. Choose between the types of monitoring.
  3. Get expert help, including training and equipment.
  4. Choose site(s) to collect samples.
  5. Collect, organize, and analyze data.
  6. Report your results to agencies and the public.
  7. Maintain quality control.

Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnership Guide to Volunteer Stream Monitoring
Where do I start? Download this excellent guide. First it will help you decide the level at which to approach monitoring. Then use the guide's comprehensive workbook of step-by-step activities to develop an appropriate water quiality monitoring design. Go to, then click on Educational Materials.

The Pollution Prevention Project Guide has a three-page quick summary list with items under each of the headings above. Read "Water Quality Monitoring" on line or download as PDF File.

Links to Expert Help (Including curricula, training, and equipment) - Your group will need expert help. They may be able to provide training, equipment, funding, data analysis, written materials, technical assistance, and curricula.

Research Community Needs - Download checklists to guide investigation of community needs. Go to the Action Preparation page, then scroll down to "Step 3. Research Community Needs."

For Teachers:

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