Saturday Stream Snapshot
About the Program
Sponsored By: Greenacres Water Quality Project LLC in partnership with: Izaak Walton League – Cincinnati Chapter, Little Miami Inc. (LMI), Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), Warren County Water and Sewer, Ohio EPA SEP & OEEF, Hamilton Storm Water District, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), Little Miami River Partnership, Hamilton Soil and Water Conservation District, SW District of Ohio Scenic Rivers, and DeVol Construction.
What is the Saturday Stream Snapshot Program?
- Volunteers process samples
- Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Program
- Located in the Lower Little Miami Watershed (all tributaries and main stem of the Little Miami River from Todd’s Fork to the mouth of the river excluding East Fork
- Monitor water quality second Saturday of the month annually from March – November
- Formed to get “Snapshot” of water quality conditions in neighborhood streams
What is the purpose of the program?
- Collect baseline water quality information using citizen volunteers on neighborhood streams including bacteria, nutrient, and turbidity once a month from March – November
- Enter the data into the Little Miami Watershed Volunteer Monitoring Database
- Make the data available for watershed planning and protection activities
- Identify water quality problems and share this information with responsible parties who can address the issues
How does the program work?
- Volunteers are trained to properly collect water samples for fecal and nutrient/sediment analysis and how to complete the data sheet
- After the training we give the volunteer two bottles – a fecal sample container and a wet chemistry sample container and a data sheet
- On the second Saturday of the month, they collect the water samples, complete the data sheet, and take them to the nearest cooler between 8 am – 10 am. They also pick up another set of bottles for next month.
- Sample runners pick up the samples from the coolers starting at 10 am and transport the coolers back to the labs at the Ike Lab for processing.
- Trained volunteers under the supervision of certified lab analysts process the samples for bacteria, nutrients, and sediments.
- The data is entered onto a lab data sheet.
- Other volunteers enter these data into the Little Miami Watershed Volunteer Monitoring Database.
- In addition to processing samples, we will also train new volunteers to collect water samples and distribute empty bottles and data sheets at the River Lab at 9:30 am on Saturday Snapshot Monitoring Days.
- Additional training in how to collect and identify macroinvertebrate and how to conduct habitat surveys will also be provided on selected Saturday Snapshot Monitoring Days beginning in September. A schedule is posted annually.
- Site Conditions are recorded on the Citizen Field Data Sheet including presence of fish, barriers, litter, erosion, presence and types of pipes, stream shading, water color, water odor, surface appearance, bank vegetation, and land use.
- Bacteria is tested using EPA Membrane Filtration Method
- Nitrate-Nitrogen is tested using cadmium reduction method with Hach DR 2010 or 2400 Spectrophotometer
- Total Phosphorus is tested using digestion with the ascorbic acid method and Hach DR 2010 or 2400 Spectrophotometer
- Turbidity is tested using a Hanna Portable Turbidimeter
- pH is tested using an Orion pH Meter
- Conductivity is tested using an Orion Conductivity Meter
- The site condition data helps us interpret the data by helping us understand conditions at the site where the sample was collected. In addition, this will provide us valuable information about potential water issues at the location.
- Bacteria data helps identify possible problems with leaking sewers and failing septic systems and tell us if the water is safe for body contact.
- Nitrate-Nitrogen and Total Phosphates are two pollutants identified in the main stem of the Little Miami River and this information will help us identify possible sources from tributaries.
- Sediment is another issue and turbidity measurements help us see where the sediment is coming from.
- pH and conductivity are two general measurements water quality professionals use to identify problems.
How do we use the data to evaluate your site?
- Because water is flowing, many samples are needed to evaluate conditions at your site.
- We prefer to have a minimum of 6 samples per year to evaluate a site.
- One set of data cannot be used to evaluate a site!
- If we notice a trend of high fecal coliforms or nutrients at your site, we may arrange to have you collect several samples over a shorter period of time to verify the problem.
Mapping sites with GPS