Water Quality Monitoring BacteriaThe James 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 JRA receives from the public, is whether it is safe to swim in certain parts of the James River. 

Water Quality TestingJRA launched a water quality monitoring initiative in 2013 across the James River watershed. We are currently looking for volunteers to help us during the 2015 season. JRA needs your help as a citizen scientist, collecting water samples and recording data to track the environmental health of the River. JRA 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 JRA's James River Watch website (thejamesriver.org/jrw). 

No monitoring or science background is required. JRA will assign volunteers to sampling teams, and work with each volunteer to help establish a sampling schedule that fits individual schedules/availability. Volunteers already participating in JRA's RiverRat project may count their water monitoring work as an "action project."

Sampling Locations:

Water Quality Testing


Jamestown Beach, Williamsburg
City Point, Hopewell
Harvell Dam, Petersburg
Grapevine Bridge - Chickahominy River, Sandston
Rockett's Landing, Richmond
14th Street Access Point, Richmond
Pipeline Rapids, Richmond
Rope Swing beach at Tredegar, Richmond
Tucker Park, Goochland County
DGIF Public Landing, Scottsville
Riveredge Park, Madison Heights
Jordan Point Park, Lexington
DGIF Public landing, Buchanan

Training Sessions:

River Monitor training - Richmond
April 23, 5:30-7:30 PM
DEQ Central Office
629 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23218

River Monitor training - Lynchburg
April 28, 6-8:30 PM
Riveredge Park
150 Rocky Hill Road Madison Heights, VA 24572

River Monitor training - Scottsville
May 5, 6-8:30 PM
Victory Hall Theater, 2nd floor
401 Valley St
Scottsville‎ VA‎ 24590

River Monitor Training - Williamsburg
May 6th, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Eco Discovery Park
2054 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185

River Monitor training - Buchanan
May 7, 6-8:30 PM
Twin River Outfitters
653 Lowe St
Buchanan, VA 24066

River Monitor training - Goochland & Powhatan Counties
May 14, 5-7:30 PM
Goochland County Office Bldg., Room 234
1800 Sandy Hook Road
Goochland VA 23063

Maury River monitor training - Lexington
May 19, 6-8:30 PM
Boxerwood Nature Center & Woodland Garden
Munger Lodge
963 Ross Road, Lexington, VA 24450

Refresher Training for New or Veteran Volunteers - Richmond
May 20th, 2pm-5pm
JRA Richmond Office
4833 Old Main Street
Richmond, VA 23231


Register for Training Session:

For more information contact Amber Ellis at (804)788-8811 ext 205 or volunteer@jrava.org

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