Volunteers needed for North Elkhorn water-testing project
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) –The City of Lexington invites residents who are interested in local waterways to participate in water quality testing.
The current round of testing will focus on the North Elkhorn Watershed, in the northeast part of Fayette County.
New volunteers are invited to a virtual training on how to collect water samples on Friday, August 27 from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
After volunteers complete their training, they can participate in two sampling events this fall and up to ten sampling events next summer, as their schedules allow.
Volunteers must be willing to conduct field visits to streams and stormwater outfalls, test water quality, and collect samples for follow-up laboratory analysis. To RSVP for the training and receive the zoom link, volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Brian Lee with UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has been volunteering as a water quality monitor since the program began.
“As residents, we can contribute to the well-being of our community through volunteering for just a few hours every couple of weeks,” Dr. Lee says. “I may not be able to run an excavator, but I can grab water samples and be part of the larger process that finds and fixes water quality problems in our creeks.”
Water quality sampling equipment is provided for volunteers by the city.
City staff conduct the laboratory analysis of the volunteer-collected samples and are available if volunteers need assistance.
“There is great support for the volunteers and the staff is always helpful when we have questions,” says Dr. Lee.
Draft water quality data is shared with volunteers, so they will receive results and feedback on stream conditions as they’re monitoring a specific watershed.
This is a great opportunity for Lexington residents who want to explore our community’s creeks up close.
“You get to see parts of Lexington you haven’t before, and you get to meet new people who have the same passion as you,” adds Dr. Lee. “The sampling is easy to do, well-organized, and lets you accomplish something good for the community.”
Additional training sessions will be held each spring and fall through 2023 as the sampling program rotates through each of the watersheds of Fayette County.
The city coordinates with Kentucky River Watershed Watch to identify potential volunteers and to track volunteer training.