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"Anybody can do it" | Volunteers test water quality in Scott County

Volunteers with The Partners of Scott County Watersheds tested several sites in the area to check for any kind of trends or patterns.

ELDRIDGE, Iowa — The Partners of Scott County Watersheds (PSCW) tested water areas in the county on Saturday, July 17. 

"Anybody can do it," said Kelsi Denoyer, PSCW Coordinator. "We call it citizen science." 

PSCW called on community volunteers to help collect data. Volunteers were separated into groups and visited several water sites. Ten groups collected chemical parameters and another 10 collected biological information. 

One group tested the water for pH balance and chemicals like chloride and nitrogen. The other group looked for bio indicators of the water's health like water bugs.

"We care for natural resources," Denoyer said. "And it's hard to care for them if you don't know about them so by engaging the community in that citizen science they get to learn and create a sense of stewardship towards those resources."

All the sites tested flow into the Mississippi River.

 "That's our drinking water," Denoyer. "That's our recreational water, we boat, we swim, we fish out of that, we eat things out of it. And so, if that's not healthy, we're not going to be healthy."

The results are sent to one of the largest water databases in Iowa. The results help spot trends and patterns to prevent or improve on water impairments.