VRAP frequently lends and maintains water quality monitoring equipment kits to VRAP groups throughout the state. The kits contain meters and supplies for routine water quality parameter measurements of turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, water temperature and specific conductance (conductivity). Other parameters such as nutrients, metals, and E. coli can also be studied, although VRAP does not always provide funds to cover laboratory analysis costs. Thus, VRAP encourages groups to pursue other fundraising activities such as association membership fees, special events, in-kind services (non-monetary contributions from individuals and organizations), and grant writing.
Each year, volunteers design and arrange a sampling schedule in cooperation with VRAP staff. Project designs are created through a review and discussion of existing water quality information, such as known and perceived problem areas or locations of exceptional water quality. The interests, priorities, and resources of the partnership determine monitoring locations, parameters, and frequency. VRAP typically recommends sampling every other week from May through September, and VRAP groups are encouraged to organize a long-term sampling program in order to begin to determine trends in river conditions.
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