Become a Water Quality Monitor for Local Watershed Group

COVID-19 Protocols

Yes, the 2021 monitoring season is underway! To protect against the spread of COVID-19, we've implemented new safety measures that include remote training videos, no-contact sample drop-off, and physically-distanced lab stations.

WQM volunteer taking a water sample from a river

Together with the Blackstone River Coalition (BRC), we're seeking volunteer water quality monitors (WQMs) to assist with water quality monitoring at 30 sites in the headwaters region of the watershed. 

No prior experience needed—we will train you!

Sites that need monitors:

  • Broad Meadow Brook at Dunkirk Rd
  • Sewell Brook at School St
  • Tilly Brook at Barker Ave
  • Singletary Brook at Sycamore Circle
  • Tatnuck Brook at VFW Highway
  • Miscoe Brook on Merriam Rd
  • The BRC is also in need of trained monitors who can serve as "floaters" to cover sites on an as-needed basis. 

If field work isn't your thing, you can join us as a volunteer in the water-testing lab. Lab volunteers do not need to commit to helping each month and can be trained the first time they assist.

The lab for the program’s Headwaters Team is located here at Broad Meadow Brook. 

You can also volunteer with the Midreach Team, which samples 28 sites between Upton and Blackstone. The testing lab for this team operates out of the Tri-River Medical Center on Oak Street in Uxbridge, MA.

WQM testing lab volunteers at BMB

WQM Volunteer Information & Details

The BRC has over 90 volunteers sampling 75 sites throughout the watershed from Worcester to Pawtucket. 

Volunteers sample their sites on the second Saturday of every month from April through November. 

  • 2021 Testing Dates: April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13

Of course new volunteers aren't restricted to these sites and we will happily take anyone who is willing to volunteer any time they can the 2nd Saturday of each month to cover sites as needed when volunteers aren't available to test, or help in the lab.

Volunteer field monitors and floaters are trained to test for dissolved oxygen at the site, record physical and aesthetic parameters, and collect a water sample. Site work takes approximately 30-45 min. 

Water samples should be dropped off at the testing lab between 9:00 am–noon on the Saturday of testing.  

The testing lab for the headwaters region is at Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester (get directions). Lab volunteers will help test these samples for nutrients, conductivity, and turbidity, and can be trained the first time they assist.

Mother & son volunteering as WQM

Join the Team

To volunteer as a field monitor, floater, or lab assistant, contact Adam Zwick (WQM Program Coordinator) by email or by calling 978-417-1121.

About the Program

The BRC recruits and trains citizen volunteers to participate in the Blackstone River Coalition watershed-wide volunteer water quality monitoring program. 

The goal of this long-running program is to gather information about the current status of, and long-term changes in, the health of the Blackstone River watershed. This information helps local policymakers, state officials, and concerned citizens make the Blackstone River cleaner for people and wildlife.