TRWA is pleased to announce the TRWA Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program will resume on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 this year! Existing and new volunteer monitoring training will be held Saturday, March 26, 2022 at TRWA’s Sweets Knoll State Park Office in Dighton, MA (on Rt 138 just South of the Bristol Aggie traffic light – 1387 Somerset Avenue, Dighton, MA). On March 26th we will have sign-in and an informal get acquainted and Q/ A session from 9:30am to 10:00am and the training will run from 10:00am to Noon. If you want to participate but can’t make the March 26th training date, contact the TRWA office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if a make-up day is needed.
TRWA volunteers will sample the second Tuesday of the month for the sampling season April through October (7 months). Teams take their samples from 2 or 3 locations anytime between 5:00am to 8:00am and drop them off at the Taunton WWTP lab no later than 8:30am. As we have done in the past, and as noted above the refresher sampler/new volunteer training is on the last Saturday morning of the month before sampling begins which is Saturday, March 26, 2022 this year.
During 2022 all five wastewater treatment plants up stream of Somerset are required to start removing nitrogen making this year an important one for water quality monitoring. As the veteran samplers know TRWA teams’ sample 20 locations (4 on the main stem of the Taunton River and 16 locations on tributary rivers/streams) the second Tuesday of each month during our sampling season. We have a MassDEP Quality Assurance Project Plan approved sampling program. We do 2 duplicates and 2 blanks each month (1 for every 10 samples for Nitrate, Total Phosphorus and Bacteria the most important pollutants we monitor). We do 2 duplicates (no blanks) for dissolved oxygen, and pH/TSS. TRWA monitoring is important because it documents the need for upgrading all seven major wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the watershed to remove nitrogen and for the four WWTPs in the upper freshwaters of the watershed to also remove phosphorus. It also highlights the need across the entire watershed for better stormwater controls for new and existing development to reduce bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from stormwater discharges.
We delayed the start of the sampling program last year to give our volunteers time to obtain their vaccinations. We encourage our volunteers to obtain their booster vaccinations if they have not already done so. Until we see how things are going with the virus this spring wearing a mask at the training and when dropping off samples at the Veolia lab is recommended.
I look forward to seeing you at the training session on March 26th . Our 2022 Standard Operating Procedures guide is unchanged from the 2021 on the TRWA website https://savethetaunton.org/ at the monitoring tab as well as our simple one-page sampler instructions sheet, chain of custody form, instructions for filling out sample bottle labels, Google map of sampling locations, and 2022 blank reporting forms which show in the lower section which locations/teams will collect duplicate and blank samples each month. This webpage generally has anything you might want to review concerning the sampling program.
One of the most important things we want to accomplish at the training is assure that we have teams of people with at least one veteran sampler ready to cover each sampling location. We will assign new volunteers to teams with veterans for hands on training and to ease them into the program. We always need new volunteers to replace folks who have moved away and to build up our teams to make sure we have coverage for vacations etc. If you know anyone who might like to get fresh morning air, knowledge, and be part of an important effort to save our environment, please invite them to the training.
If you are a veteran sampler and are no longer able to participate in the sampling program, please let Steve Silva (email@example.com) know to help us with planning.