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 2014 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:

Williamsburg Training
May 8th, 6pm-7:30pm
Eco Discovery Park
2054 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Buchanan Training
May 12th,4:00 pm-6:30 pm
Twin River Outfitters
653 Lowe Street, Buchanan, VA 24066

Richmond Remedial/Practice Open House
May 21st, 12 pm - 5 pm
JRA Richmond Office
4833 Old Main Street
Richmond, VA 23231

New or veteran volunteers needing a little extra practice can stop by the JRA office during our monitoring open house. This is a great opportunity to get any remaining questions answered and to practice any of the monitoring tests. Although the open house is informal with no set agenda, registration is still requested


Register for Training Session:

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

FacebookTwitterBlogFlickrYou Tube

Bookmark and Share

E-newsletter Signup

Sign up for our enewsletter for events and news.

Sign up to volunteer

Discover opportunities to help the James.

Find out more