Would you like to volunteer to monitor the water quality of local creeks? Sno-King Water Watchers is a Community-Based Water Monitoring program in the King and Snohomish Counties. You can take our classes and become a volunteer water monitor.
Classes in series:
Introduction to Water Monitoring
Learn about streams and watersheds, types of pollutants, how citizens can gather credible data about their local waterbodies, action strategies they can employ to improve water quality while engaged in Community-Based Water Monitoring. This class is a prerequisite for the other classes listed below. Zoom class.
What are bacteria? Which ones are harmful? What are standards for E.Coli in Washington waters? Learn about simple, low-cost methods available to citizen scientists to evaluate their local waterbodies for bacteriological contamination. Zoom class.
Water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH are all important variables for local salmonids and other creatures that live in our streams. Clear, clean water is important too. Learn to use a citizen science kit to monitor these important variables. Zoom class.
Physical/Chemical Monitoring field training
After completion of one or more of the above classes, to complete your training you will attend a practical session. Practical skills vary for each class and include performing all the water chemistry tests using a LaMotte kit, measuring turbidity with a turbidity tube, sampling for bacteria, and plating bacteria samples in Petri dishes. Field class, 2.5 hours.
Did you know that there is a whole community of insects that live on the bottom of your local streams? Stream bugs are a great indicator of stream health. Learn how to collect, identify, and categorize these creatures. Zoom class.
Stream Biomonitoring field training
Field assessment of benthic macroinvertebrates. Learn how to collect, identify, and categorize these creatures. Create an index of water quality based on pollution tolerance of creatures found. Field session, 2.5 hours.
BIBI (Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity)
Learn about this quantitative method of collecting and analyzing benthic macroinvertebrates. After training, you can participate in field collection activities. Zoom class, combined with Stream Biomonitoring Class.
Stream flow is an important variable in stream monitoring. Stream flow varies with stream order, size of watershed, rainfall, stormwater, and other factors. In this class, learn how to measure and calculate stream flow using simple citizen science techniques. Zoom class.
Trees and shrubs, shading, large woody debris, gravel, rocks, sand, and other factors in a stream and in its riparian zone (the area of vegetation around a stream that affects the stream) have a large effect on the health of the stream and how good of habitat it is for fish and other stream inhabitants. Learn how to use a stream habitat assessment tool to evaluate and document habitat in and around a stream. Zoom class in conjunction with Streamflow monitoring.
Streamflow & habitat practical
Put your knowledge to use in the field with hands-on practice at a stream site. Field session, 2.5 hours.
Our classes are done for 2023, but stay tuned for our upcoming class schedule, starting in Spring 2024. Our 2023 schedule below shows you what will be offered.
- Saturday, June 17 – Physical/Chemical and Bacteriological Training for new monitors and recertification for existing monitors, North Creek, Bothell. 10 am – 1 pm.
- Thursday, June 22 – Physical/Chemical and Bacteriological Training, Waynita Creek, Bothell. 10 am – 1 pm.
- Sunday, July 9 – Stream Biomonitoring Training and site evaluation, 1-3 pm, North Creek or Swamp Creek.
- Tuesday, July 11 – BIBI training. This date is flexible depending on who signs up.
- Thursday, July 27 – Physical/Chemical and Bacteriological Training, Waynita Creek, Bothell. 10 am – 1 pm.
- Wednesday, August 2 – BIBI sample collection, 2 locations, TBD.
- Thursday, August 3 – Stream Biomonitoring Training and site evaluation, 10 am – 1 pm, Waynita Creek, Bothell.
- Saturday, August 5 – Streamflow & habitat assessment
- Friday, August 25 – BIBI sample collection, 2 locations, TBD.
- Saturday, September 16 – Streamfest event at Log Boom Park in Kenmore. Fun event with art, music, activities, highlighting local streams.
To register, e-mail email@example.com. Registration fee for all classes is $50 for the series, payable via check or PayPal. This includes class registration, all Zoom classes, electronic versions of class manuals, and printed manuals on request. Scholarships or discounts are available.
The Sno-King Watershed Council is an all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit organization.
Major support for our program comes from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division Waterworks grant program. Additional support is provided by the Cascade Water Alliance.