Water Quality Monitoring

Organisation: The Rivers Trust

Location: National

Type: Technical Support & Training

Water Quality Monitoring Workshop

A water quality monitoring workshop was held on 25th February 2020 to share experiences and learn about citizen science and field staff water quality monitoring methods.

Simon Browning (Senior Data & Evidence Officer – Westcountry Rivers Trust), Tim Harris (Microbiologist) and catchment partnerships shared experiences of planning and managing water quality monitoring initiatives, including sampling and analysis of nutrients, FIOs and standard water quality parameters. The resources are shared below.

Planning and Managing a Water Quality Monitoring Programme.

Planning & Design

Guidance on designing and planning an appropriate monitoring programme.


Equipment Top Trumps

Summary of water quality monitoring equipment including relevance of parameters, accuracy and sensitivity, ease of use and cost.


Analysis and Interpretation of Data

An overview of cartographer and example score cards and visualisation methods.


Managing and Resourcing a Monitoring Programme

Communication with volunteers and maintaining volunteer engagement.


Bacterial water quality (Faecal Indicator Organisms) – regulations, analysis, aseptic sampling protocol and result interpretation.

Aseptic sampling protcol

Best practice protocol for FIO sampling in rivers including equipment.


Regulations, analysis and interpretation

Pros and cons of commonly available analysis techniques and interpretation of results including worked example from the Lake District.


Realities of FIO Sampling

Application of FIO sampling and tips from Wyre Rivers Trust.


FIO Sampling Report

Summary of FIO results from water samples taken during the workshop.


CaBA partnership experiences of delivering water quality monitoring programmes.

Application of Chemcatchers

Experiences of using chemcatchers in the Wyre Catchment.


South Cumbria Rivers Trust Water Quality Monitoring

An example from Leighton Beck


Further Resources

The related resources below provide further support to CaBA partners interested in water quality monitoring.

Water Quality Training: These resources are designed to help you access and analyse existing water quality data, for example, from the Environment Agency’s WIMS database and to show what sort of information can be obtained from different types of water quality monitoring data.  There are also resources to help you plan future collaborative monitoring strategies including a template water quality monitoring planner adapted from the PRAGMO approach.

Citizen Science: Further guidance specific to citizen science initiatives including a collection of useful links, contacts, technical references and case studies which other CaBA partnerships have used and shared.

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