Virginia Aquarium starts community water monitoring program

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Today is World Water Monitoring day, and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is kicking off a citizen water monitoring program.

Members of the community can bring in water samples to be tested by the Aquarium’s water quality lab. The Aquarium’s lab is approved by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to monitor environmental water with the help of these samples. They hope to add 100 new data points in the Virginia Beach area this month with samples from backyard streams, estuaries, rivers, and ponds.

“Water quality testing is vital to sustaining an aquarium, and we are thrilled to have our lab approved by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to extend this service to the community,” said Kasie Regnier, Water Quality Lab Supervisor for the Virginia Aquarium. “Adding these data points will provide the baseline numbers we need to continue tracking the overall health of our water systems and watersheds.”

If you’re interested in helping out, you’ll have to complete a registration form, pick up a water bottle, and bring their water sample to the Aquarium on an assigned date, on ice. Lab analyses are completed and emailed to the interested volunteers within three business days.

Results are also added to a live water quality map which allows the public to access water quality data around the community. Lab tests run include a water chemistry panel that tests for salinity, pH, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and orthophosphate, a bacteria panel for E. coli and total coliform bacteria, and other tests by request.

Tap water, pool water and well water cannot be tested.

Citizens can learn about the water quality in our area and how to be a part of this effort by visiting: www.virginiaaquarium.com/conserve/water-quality-monitoring

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