Water Quality Monitoring


The James River Needs YOU to be a Citizen Water Quality Monitor

Many portions of the James River and tributaries are currently impaired due to excessive harmful bacteria. And for those who swim or recreate in the River, bacteria is an invisible pollutant that can pose serious health threats. One of the most common questions the James River Association receives from the public, is whether it is safe to swim in certain parts of the James River.

The James River Association launched a water quality monitoring initiative in 2013 across the James River watershed. We need your help as a citizen scientist, collecting water samples and recording data to track the environmental health of the River. We will introduce you to the types of harmful bacteria, and provide an overview of sampling methods and analysis. Volunteers will also learn to collect turbidity and temperature data from the field. Sampling will occur weekly from May to September, and data will be made available to the public on the James River Watch website.

No monitoring or science background is required. We will assign volunteers to sampling teams, and work with each volunteer to help establish a sampling schedule that fits individual schedules and availability. Volunteers already participating in our RiverRats Program may count their water monitoring work as an Action Project.

2018 Water Quality Monitoring Training Sessions:

All training sessions are finished for the 2018 monitoring season.

Check back in April 2019 for new training sessions

water quality monitors

For more information

For more information contact Sophie Stern at (804)788-8811 ext 214 or volunteer@jrava.org.

Sampling Locations:

  • Hampton River, Hampton
  • Riverside Park, Newport News
  • Denbigh Park, Warwick River, Newport News
  • Jamestown Beach, James City County
  • Powhatan Creek Park, James City County
  • City Point, Hopewell
  • Harvell Dam, Petersburg
  • Grapevine Bridge – Chickahominy River, Sandston
  • Pony Pasture, Richmond
  • Huguenot Flatwater, Richmond
  • Robious Landing, Richmond
  • Rockett’s Landing, Richmond
  • 14th Street Access Point, Richmond
  • Rope Swing beach at Tredegar, Richmond
  • Reedy Creek, Richmond
  • 42nd Street JRPS Access, Richmond
  • Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing, Goochland County
  • Public boat ramp, Scottsville
  • Riveredge Park, Madison Heights
  • Ben Salem Wayside Park, Lexington (Maury River)
  • DGIF Public landing, Buchanan
  • Riverview Park, Charlottesville (Rivanna River)
  • Main Street Bridge, Farmville (Appomattox River)

Register for a Training: