Volunteers wanted for water testing program

Published 6:38 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

As spring arrives in Minnesota, it’s time for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to kick off its popular program that relies on Minnesota residents to help monitor Minnesota’s over 12,000 and 92,000 miles of streams.

The MPCA is now recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Austin area — and then report back to the agency. This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in helping protect our state’s natural resources.

Through the Volunteer Water Monitoring Program, volunteers do a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer. Lake monitors boat or paddle to a designated spot in the lake to check the clarity, while stream monitors record data from the streambank or a bridge over it. We provide all the equipment and training, so no experience is needed.

The MPCA uses the data to help determine whether lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities like fishing and swimming. In some cases, the information gathered by volunteers is the only monitoring done on a particular lake or stream.

For more information or to volunteer, visit: www.pca.state.mn.us/water/volunteer-water-monitoring.