Water Quality Monitoring

The Saw Kill Watershed Community has been instrumental in bringing back ongoing water quality monitoring on the Saw Kill. Working with the Bard Community Water Lab, in 2015 volunteers began a monthly water sampling program at 14 sites along the Saw Kill and some tributaries in Milan and Red Hook. This program restarted a long-running volunteer program that started in the 1970s, giving us an unusually long and complete data set recording water quality.

Today, water quality monitoring on the Saw Kill is managed by the Center for the Study of Land, Air, and Water, in conjunction with the SKWC and the Bard Community Water Lab. 

Volunteers collect samples from 14 sites along the Saw Kill. The samples are then analyzed for sewage-indicating bacteria, turbidity, chlorophyll a, colored dissolved organic material, phycocyanin, and optical brighteners. We also record the temperature and conductivity data that our volunteers collect while sampling.

Sampling is done safely from stream banks, culverts, and bridges. All equipment is provided, and we’ll train you in how to use it. From start to finish, sampling takes about two hours. 

Water sampling is fun and easy — and you’re contributing to the science that helps keep your drinking water safe. 

If you’re interested, please get in touch!