Water Quality Monitoring

Want to get involved in a great hands-on project this summer? Join our Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring team! Volunteers collect stream samples on a biweekly basis throughout the summer in the Cabot/Marshfield/Plainfield and Barre/Montpelier areas. These samples are then sent to a lab and analyzed to determine E. coli, chloride, alkalinity, phosphorus, nitrogen, and turbidity levels.

Sampling takes about 15 minutes per site, and volunteers can collect samples from one or more sites. No experience necessary and training is provided. We collect samples six times over the course of the summer. Volunteers can choose to sample on one or all of the sampling dates.

This is important work. Water quality monitoring plays an important role in keeping the public informed about water quality issues and promoting stewardship of our watershed. Furthermore, this valuable data has the power to influence water quality improvements and shape public policy. You can find out more about the program below. Please sign up using the contact form on our website.

Thanks to our water quality monitoring volunteers!   Emily Ahtunan, Nick, Jay, & Ethan Borlund, Suzanne & Simon Eikenberry, Steve Fiske, Gary Gulka, Kaitlin Hayes, Roger Kokodyniac, Doug LaPointe, David Lowther & Jean, Marisol, & Elli McDowell, Isaac & Jamie Maddox-White, Laura & Mikaela Moore, Lyn and Nancy Munno, Gianna Petito, Julianna Plumber, George Springston, Jen & Indy Roberts, Jeff Schumann, Jason & Miriam Serota-Winston, Jennifer Skinder, Leif Richarson, & Benjamin Richardson-Skinder, Brian Slopey, Jeff Schumann, Janice Walrafen, Bruce Westcott, and Jan Zemba.


Volunteer water quality monitoring plays an important role in educating the public about water quality issues and promoting stewardship of water resources. Volunteer monitoring can go beyond education to identify specific problems, measure progress toward water quality improvements and shape public policy. Data collected by volunteers may be used by local and state government for decision-making and enforcement. Currently the Friends are working with volunteers in the Headwaters area (above the confluence with the Kingsbury Branch); and the Four Rivers (Barre-Berlin-Montpelier) area.

Headwaters: Since 2007, the Cabot Conservation Committee and the Marshfield and Plainfield Conservation Commissions have worked together with the Friends and other members of the Winooski Headwaters Community Partnership to monitor water quality in their towns. Commission members along with other volunteers have collected data for a number of water quality parameters including bacteria.

Four Rivers: In 2008, the Friends formed the Four Rivers Partnership. The goal of this partnership is to work together to protect and restore the Winooski, Stevens, North Branch, and Dog Rivers. Volunteers sample the Four Rivers in addition to their tributaries.

The Chittenden County Stream Team managed by the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, samples streams in the lower part of the Winooski River watershed across an eight-town area (Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston & Winooski) to implement projects to reduce non-point source pollution and stormwater volume at the local level.


Water Quality Monitoring Results


2018 Headwaters Report
2017 Headwaters Report
2016 Headwaters Report
2015 Headwaters Report

2007-2014 Available upon request


Four Rivers Reports include sites on North and Stevens Branches, the Dog River and the Winooski 

2018 Four Rivers Report
2017 Four Rivers Report
2016 Four Rivers Report
2015 Four Rivers Report

2010-2014 Available upon request

Chittenden County Stream Team

2015 CCST Report
2014 CCST Report
2013 CCST Report
2012 CCST Report