Environmental Programs

Water Quality Monitoring

Water Quality Monitors are volunteers that help collect data on the water quality of the Patapsco River within and around the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area. Volunteers are trained on specific methods for collecting water quality information.

Committed to understanding the health of the Patapsco River and its tributaries, the program’s team of staff and trained volunteers collect data on various parameters, including air and water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH levels, conductivity, nitrite, phosphorus, turbidity, and E. coli bacteria counts. By consistently gathering and analyzing data from 11 sites along the non-tidal portion of the Patapsco River, the team gains insight into the overall water quality of the watershed and detects potential issues or trends that may affect the ecosystem.

Biological Monitoring

In addition to assessing traditional water quality parameters, the program collects macroinvertebrate biological data twice a year. Benthic macroinvertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks, inhabit the streambed and are sensitive to changes in water quality. The presence of a diverse population of pollution-sensitive macroinvertebrates indicates a healthy and thriving stream ecosystem, whereas their absence or decline can serve as an early warning sign of potential water quality issues.

PHG offers educational workshops on environmental topics including Macroinvertebrate Discovery. Learn more here.

Become a Water Quality Monitor!

Contact Mandy or fill out this form to request more information about joining PHG's team of volunteer Water Quality Monitors.


Non-Tidal Patapsco River Report Card

For more in depth information about the results of our water quality monitoring, click on the photo of our annual report card below: