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EPA Joins Citizens in Preparing for National Water Monitoring Day

Release Date: 10/14/2002
Contact Information: Jeff Philip
(206) 553-1465

October 14, 2002

Over the next two weeks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be cooperating with local watershed groups, citizens and other interested environmental organizations, to marshal forces for the first annual National Water Monitoring Day.

Photo of Regional Administrator, John Iani observing students monitor Piper Creek in SeattleNational Water Monitoring Day, to be held on October 18th , is a nationwide event created to mark the 30th anniversary of the initial passage of the Clean Water Act. The effort is coordinated by America's Clean Water Foundation, in cooperation with several other environmental groups and governmental agencies across the country.

The main purpose of the event is to educate the public about water quality by inviting citizen monitors, established volunteer monitoring organizations and federal, state, Tribal and local monitoring program staff to evaluate conditions within their local watersheds. Data will be entered by monitors into a national databank that stores all information collected on Monitoring Day.

EPA staff will be among thousands of volunteers across the country to sample the water quality and report our findings on this specific day. To accomplish this important task, our environmental staff will be on hand to help test the waters and to serve as guides for others who join this effort. While comprehensive monitoring goes on all year, never before has such a grassroots event been scheduled to occur on one day across the nation.

EPA's Pacific Northwest Regional Office plans to conduct local testing at a number of sites within local watersheds, including:
  • Carkeek Park, Seattle, Washington
  • Star Lake in Kent, Washington (with Totem Jr. High School)
  • Lake Washington, Seattle, Washington (with Rainier Beach High School)
  • Longfellow Creek, Seattle Washington (with West Seattle High School)

"One of the important lessons learned from the past 30 years is the need for grassroots participation in caring for the natural resources that benefit us locally," said John Iani, head of EPA = s Pacific Northwest Office. "Government efforts can only do so much. Citizen involvement is also needed. I urge everyone to take some time to learn about the condition of your local waterways. Then you can better understand how to keep them healthy and thriving."

The day's efforts will be relatively easy and fun to carry out. Volunteers will be asked to perform and submit data from four basic key tests: dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity/clarity and temperature. More experienced monitors may also complete more technical analyses such as macro invertebrate counts (bugs), nitrogen content, phosphorus, and the speed of the water flow.

Data collected by all participating monitors can be viewed at The Year of Clean Water website, . Detailed maps allow users to pinpoint a monitored watershed and access information collected for that particular area.

"The EPA is committed to protecting our community's water ecosystem and welcomes citizen participation in the weeks surrounding October 18th" said Iani. A We hope that this event will increase the public = s awareness of their role in protecting and preserving the quality of the nation= s waters by inviting a wide range of citizens to work along side of more experienced monitors to help with this national test."

For more details, visit the Year of Clean Water website .