Tracking the health of streams in Minnesota is a big job, and one that the MPCA can’t do alone. The agency depends on local partners for help to assist with intensive water quality monitoring. To ensure quality and consistent data, the agency provides training and financial assistance for our partners.
Short video tutorials on water quality sampling and repairing equipment.
- Take stage readings using a wire weight gage
- Take readings from a data logger
- Stage reading by tape down method
- Sampling with a Van Dorn sampler
- Repairing and maintaining a Van Dorn sampler
- Sampling by wading in a stream
- Sampling with a telescoping rod
Standard operating procedures
Sample collection in the field requires adequate documentation for quality assurance and control. The SOP provides step-by-step instruction on water quality sample collection and data management.
- Watershed pollutant load monitoring standard operating procedures (wq-cm1-02)
- Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network Sampling Parameter descriptions (wq-cm1-05)
Pollutant loads are calculated by coupling water quality and discharge data from U.S. Geological Survey and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources flow gaging stations to create mathematical relationships (using the FLUX32 model) to estimate pollutant concentrations on days when samples are not collected. Primary output includes annual/seasonal loads and flow weighted mean concentrations (pollutant load/total flow volume) and daily loads and concentrations.
The organizations that participate in water quality monitoring:
- Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District
- Hawk Creek Watershed Project
- International Water Institute
- Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District
- Koochiching County Soil and Water Conservation District
- Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District
- Metropolitan Council Environmental Services
- McLeod Soil and Water Conservation District
- Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District
- Mille Lacs Soil and Water Conservation District
- MN State University - Mankato, Water Resources Center
- North Fork Crow River Watershed District
- Natural Resources Research Institute - University of Minnesota
- Olmsted Soil and Water Conservation District
- Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area
- Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District
- Sibley Soil and Water Conservation District
- Vermilion Community College