Become a Water Quality Monitor for Local Watershed Group

COVID-19 Protocols

Yes, the 2020 monitoring season is still 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

The Blackstone River Coalition (BRC) is in need of volunteer water quality monitors (WQMs) to assist with its 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:

  • If you enjoy being outside exploring waterways, you can be a site monitor or a "floater" who covers 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 the month from April through November. 

  • 2020 Testing Dates: April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14

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 Susan Thomas (WQM Program Coordinator) by email or by calling 508-753-6087.

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.