What do I need to do to become a KRWW water sampler?
Kentucky River Watershed Watch currently offers two training workshops for new samplers. The first (Phase I) workshop provides instruction on how to assess field chemistry, how to collect a “grab sample” to be taken to a lab for analysis (for pesticides, pathogens, nutrients, metals, etc.), and how the Watershed Watch program functions. This first workshop usually lasts about 3 hours and will provide samplers with the equipment and instructions to begin sampling at their chosen stream locations. A second (Phase II) workshop explains how to conduct a stream site habitat assessment and biological sampling to further understand the overall health of the selected stream or river.
Check the KRWW Events Listing for training and sampling dates, and contact KRWW to register. Or, if an upcoming training workshop is not listed as available, please contact us to request that one be arranged for your area.
How often do I need to renew my cerfication to sample?
You should attend a Phase I Training Recertification Workshop every three years to remain current on sampling protocols and other KRWW procedures. These workshops serve as a refresher course and usually last about 1 hour.
How often do I need to replace my sampling chemicals and how will I receive them?
Your sampling chemicals should be replaced every three years. Since you should also be recertified to sample every two years by attending a sampling training workshop, you will receive replacement chemicals at the workshop. KRWW organizers will also track chemical replacement needs and should notify you when you need new chemicals. If necessary, they can be mailed to you with your sampling materials.
What happens with my sampling results?
They are reviewed by the KRWW board and added to the online data portal. They are also summarized annually in a formal Data Summary Report (available on this website) and presented during the Annual Conference, which is planned for the fall or winter following the sampling season.
How can I find out who else is sampling in my watershed/area?
You can peform a search on the online data portal, by county, stream name, or stream basin, or by viewing sites using the data portal mapping functions. Your Area Coordinator can also assist you with determining other samplers in your watershed or other nearby watersheds and can pass that information along to you. Find your Area Coordinator on our website.
How can I Report a Water Quality or Other Environmental Concern?
Citizens can contact the Complaints Coordinator at the Kentucky Division of Water at 1-800-564-3410 to log a complaint or report knowledge of an environmental problem. The Kentucky Division of Water also has 10 Regional Offices located throughout the state. Regional Office staff can field questions about local water quality issues and investigate specific problems. Complaints may be made anonymously, but they precludeinvestigation progress reports.
To identify which Regional Office you should contact, find the county of concern on the Division of Water’s website at http://dep.ky.gov/Pages/RegionalOffices.aspx.
For environmental emergencies such as spills of gas, oil or other substances, you should also contact the Environmental Response Team at 1-800-928-2380 or 502-564-2380.
Not all reports have to be of “bad news”. You can also submit documentation about your waterway that provides baseline conditions.
- Take photographs of your stream or waterway
- Complete a Habitat Assessment Form, that provides a standardized evaluation of stream conditions.
- Submit those to the Kentucky Water Watch Office at the Kentucky Division of Water.
What can I do now that I have some water quality sampling results?
- Compare the results with any existing state or federal water quality standards.
- Look at results from other KRWW sampling sites in your local watershed.
- Graph annual results to illustrate any trends that may be occurring with your data.
- Develop a more focused sampling plan with multiple sampling locations in order to better pinpoint the stream’s pollutant sources;
- Recruit additional KRWW samplers in the area, or encouraging local schools to start a Water Watch sampling program;
- Try to find other water quality data from local universities, the Kentucky Division of Water, local health departments, city/county government, or other sources.
- Work with other interested citizens and local officials (if possible) to assess the data and potential land use contributions.
- Develop a Citizen Action Plan to guide water quality improvement efforts.
- Consider potential grant opportunities for water quality education projects, riparian tree plantings, stream cleanups, or other water quality projects. The Kentucky River Authority offers grants of up to $3,000 for such projects.
- Find and enhance a public access point or trail for visitors to appreciate the stream, river or lake. With greater appreciation, will likely come greater willingness to do things that will improve and protect it.
- Consider speaking to local school groups, community groups or other organizations about your stream, potential issues that need to be addressed, and ways that they can appreciate it and help protect it
- Investigate opportunities for more responsible development, or Low Impact Development, in your community. These practices have the potential to enhance quality of life, increase property values, and minimize impacts to local natural resources. River Network, Southeast Watershed Forum and Center for Watershed Protection are two good sources of information on these practices.
- Attend related workshops and conferences to become better informed, including the annual KRWW Conference.
How can I make a suggestion to the KRWW Steering Committee for improving our organization?
Use the Contact Us page on this website!