Are you eager to get out to enjoy this nice weather? On Monday, we canvassed a few of the test sites and we are happy to report that the water is open -testing can commence once again!  To prevent contamination of samples, a new step to the protocol has been added (see details below). The 2015 report is coming together and will propose steps to further perfect the protocol.

If you have recently joined us, we will have a training day set up for you in the near future.   

Happy testing,
Meagan & Aiesha

Spring Has Sprung:  What that Means for Water Quality

During spring runoff, water created by the melting snow saturates the ground quickly, and most of it makes its way into rivers and streams. This melt-water can carry eroded soil, organic matter such as leaf litter, and dissolved nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. 

While wetlands act to absorb nutrients and toxins during the plant growth period, the winter die-off of these plants releases whatevery they have absorbed back into the water. The spring runoff then carries these into the watershed, so this is the time of year when the water is most polluted.

It's important that we sample during this period so we can get a clear picture of how spring runoff affects water quality in our sample area.

Meagan and Aiesha preparing the test kits for 2016
The test kits are ready... are you?
After a brief winter spent sitting on the shelves, the test kits have been cleaned and are ready to go! 
It is important to keep our kits shipshape to prevent contamination of samples. A new step has been added to the protocol: 
Upon returning your test kit to the CC office, you will clean the contents that came in contact with the stream using distilled water. 

Dorthea will show you the ropes when you come to pick up your kit. 

While there is still some construction happening at the Grant's Woods office, the parking lot is clear and the new front entrance is eagerly awaiting your arrival!

Checking out Talbot headwaters, photo by Dorthea
Testing the Waters
We investigated a few of the sites last Monday and found that the water levels were not too high or running too fast. It is safe to start testing again! 

Below are links to videos taken at the Doyle Road and Upton Bridge test sites last Saturday:

Doyle Road

Ashley all bundled up for testing, November 2015

Will the Talbot River be your Watermark?
We all have fond memories that take place in or around water. Mark Mattson, who spoke at the CC AGM, saw the value of these stories and created the Watermark Project to collect them. These stories will become part of an archive, documenting the personal and ecological value of Ontario's waters.

Find out more and submit a story about a waterbody that is close to your heart at: 

Go to our Flickr page  for more photos from water testing