This resource is focused on finding, fixing and preventing sources of fecal bacteria contamination in low density, coastal watersheds. Elements of this guide will also be useful for freshwater beaches and urban watersheds. While this guide was design with local government and agency staff in mind, most covered topics will also be relevant for volunteer groups. Just beware that some areas – such as directions on how to inspect private residences- are not appropriate for volunteers.
In addition to covering how to identify bacteria hot spots and track sources in a watershed, this guide also includes excellent overviews of many water testing issues including: indicator bacteria, sources of pollution, source tracking methods, waste disposal systems, stormwater issues, solutions and best management practices.
Whether you are looking to investigate a local water pollution issue yourself or want to learn more about what you should be asking your local authorities to do, this guide is a great resource! Or use it as an educational tool for students or new volunteers. It has great photos of many of the steps involved in water testing.
Pictured above is Sarah Mosley, Maine Healthy Beaches Water Quality Testing trainer, and Maine Chapter member. Sarah, along with Keri Lindberg, are responsible for training all the volunteers that collect samples for the Maine Healthy Beaches program, including a team of Maine Chapter volunteers. More info on Maine Chapter's water testing program is available on their website.