Changes to the monitoring program
We have tried to match sites to our volunteers' interests and local area, with the result that some streams are oversampled and some are undersampled. So as we review sites, we will be adding some and deleting others, all the while trying to match your interests in your local streams and minimizing driving distance. Donna is currently working on matching the list with our consistent samplers and may be contacting you soon to see if you would consider revising your list of sites .... stay tuned!
We are changing our sampling dates to only collect in the Months of March through November.
- This would put us in line with other volunteer monitoring groups and the Ohio EPA. One reason they do not sample in the winter is that bacteria data, one of the primary interests, are extremely variable in winter; if it is very cold, we may find no coliform bacteria, but since wastewater treatment plants are not required to chlorinate their effluent November to April, levels can be very high if the weather stays warm.
- Miami's new January term (J term) may make it difficult to run the lab in January, as our IES student lab managers are not really required to be here, or may be out of the country on international courses.
- Volunteers deserve a break! Really! We appreciate your efforts all year long and the winter months are a logical time to let you take a break and get geared up for the next season. This should eliminate last-minute cancellations due to weather (except for an April snowstorm, maybe) and limit our fears of someone slipping on ice or snow.
- We can have a formal presentation of the year's sampling results at a time most volunteers should be available - the second Saturday of February! That is something we have experimented with in several types of venues in the past, but because our volunteers are such busy people, we have not succeeded in getting big turn-outs. We hope that by making the presentation at a time you would normally be collecting samples, everyone should be able to come. So keep that second Saturday of February open - we really want you to be at our fist annual Appreciation Day brunch. The time will be 9:00 or 10:00 am and the venue is still being decided, so stay tuned to next month's newsletter.
- Our Volunteer Appreciation Day event and a continuation of the monthly newsletters in the winter months will help us keep you enthused ... we hope!
So Who, or What is, the Butler County Stream Team?
The Butler County Stream Team is a group of volunteers that collects, analyzes, and reports water quality data from many waterways in Butler County. We collect samples from streams and rivers in Butler County, Ohio and analyze them for these parameters: nitrates, total phosphorous, bacteria, conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, turbidity.
The Stream Team exists through the collaborative effort of Butler County resident volunteers, the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at Miami University, the Butler County Storm Water District, and the Butler Soil and Water Conservation District. Learn more about some of our volunteers on the volunteer spotlight page.
The goal of the Butler County Stream Team is to educate residents about their local water quality issues, including storm water runoff and the pollution it brings to waterways in both rural and urban landscapes. A secondary goal is to use the data to look at trends and potential issues in the water quality of our county.
How you can participate:
It is easy to be a Stream Team Volunteer! Volunteers are needed to collect samples from local waterways, as well as to analyze those samples at the lab on the campus of Miami University.
You can help even if you have 1 hour. No experience is required.