Volunteers needed for water quality testing in Lexington

The current round of testing will focus on the North Elkhorn Watershed

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/PRESS RELEASE) – The City of Lexington invites residents who are interested in the local waterways to participate in water quality testing this summer. 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 training on Friday, May 6 at 9 a.m. at the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant, 301 Lisle Industrial Ave. Volunteers should email Abby Terry at abby.terry@tetratech.com to RSVP for the training.

After volunteers complete training, they can participate in up to ten sampling events from May to September. In teams assisted by city staff, volunteers will conduct field visits to stormwater outfalls and streams in the North Elkhorn watershed to test water quality parameters and collect samples for follow-up analysis.

Brendan Campbell, a junior at the University of Kentucky, participated in the program last year. “The first time we went out, I learned how to collect the water samples and what each test does,” he says. “As a Natural Resources and Environmental Science student, it was very educational and directly related to my major.” Mr. Campbell encourages other students to participate in the program to get real-world experience monitoring the local environment.

Draft water quality data is shared with volunteers, so they will receive current information on stormwater conditions in the North Elkhorn watershed. Besides adding to the city’s database of water quality data, field work conducted by the group aids in identifying sources of pollution. For example, volunteer data has been helpful in determining whether high E. coli results in our streams are linked to animals that naturally live in the environment or a leaking sewer line that can be fixed.

The city will kick off sampling in the last watershed, Wolf Run, later this fall. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in this unique opportunity to assess water quality in their own backyards.

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