Citizens Begin Monitoring Streams

Members of the Rockbridge Water Monitors began fecal bacterial monitoring of streams and rivers throughout Rockbridge County this month.

The trained local “citizen scientists” will undertake the testing within the first seven days of each month at approved sites.

Test results will be published in the near future on the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative website at https://www.chesapeakemonitoringcoop.org/services/chesapeake-data-explorer/ and the Rock-bridge Area Conservation Council website at http://rockbridgeconservation.org/current_projects.php.

The data collected by the Rockbridge Water Monitors will supplement current water testing data taken by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and by the Maury Watershed Monitors. By identifying areas of concern, steps can be taken to locate bacterial sources and assist with measures to reduce contamination of the water. The group’s goal is to restore county water to a clean and healthy status that benefits all citizens of Rockbridge County.

The DEQ has tested approximately 20 percent of Rockbridge County’s streams and rivers and has determined that over 55 percent contain unacceptable levels of contaminants causing them to be classified as “impaired.”

Rockbridge Water Monitors is administered by Catherine Siegel. For further information, contact Catherine Siegel by email at catherinehsiegel@gmail.com.

The News-Gazette

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