This past summer more than 75 volunteers collected almost 400 water samples from roughly 30 sites throughout the Huron River watershed and Downriver area. In a newly released video, “Testing the Waters of the Huron River,” HRWC tells the story of our Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program. Featuring volunteers Christine Kitchens and Larry Sheer, Watershed Planner Ric Lawson and Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt, it highlights the many innovative and unique aspects of this important program.

Engaged HRWC volunteers dedicate their time to collect vital water quality information for HRWC and our partners. From all walks of life, they include retirees, families, young and seasoned professionals, and students from graduate school, college and high school. Some are experienced – having done it for multiple seasons while many come to HRWC for the first time each season.

In teams of two to four people, volunteers monitor real-time chemical parameters and collect water samples tested by local utility lab partners for phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment, and bacteria. Volunteers also measure stream and river flow in all kinds of weather.

Looking at water chemistry and flow rates annually is one of the ways to get a true sense of the changing conditions of the Huron River and its tributaries. But the results of this volunteer-led monitoring effort does more than that. It helps the many communities of the Huron and Downriver area make decisions and prioritize efforts to protect and restore area waterways based on sound scientific data.

HRWC started the Chemistry and Flow Monitoring program in 2002. With the support of many it has flourished and become a model for volunteer monitoring across the state and nationally.  

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­HRWC will launch the 2019 Chemistry and Flow Monitoring season (April-September) with a March 24, 2019 orientation. LEARN HOW YOU CAN VOLUNTEER.

GET A PROGRM OVERVIEW that includes maps of monitoring sites, data reports and raw data for the 2018 season.

Volunteer-collected data is also integrated into HRWC’s INFO STREAM, our map-based tool where you can learn about your own part of the watershed.

Produced by 7 Cylinders Studio for HRWC
Director: Donald Harrison
Editing: Sydney Friedman
Post Production: David Camlin
Camera and Audio: Donald Harrison
Executive Producer: Pam Labadie

Thanks to program funders: Alliance of Downriver Watersheds, Livingston Watershed Advisory Group, Middle Huron Partners

Thanks to collaborating partners: City of Ann Arbor Water Lab, City of Brighton Water Lab, University of Michigan, Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority

Special Thanks: Andrea Paine and Laura Rubin