Volunteer duties

Volunteer water monitors use simple equipment to conduct water clarity tests at designated locations on their favorite lake or stream. Volunteers monitor at least twice a month, but weekly tests are encouraged. During each visit, they also record observations on the physical and recreational condition of their lake or stream. Volunteers submit data to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at the end of each monitoring season.

Lake volunteers

  • Can sign up to monitor any lake across the state
  • Need access to watercraft such as a canoe, kayak, paddleboat, or motor boat
  • Use a Secchi disk attached to a calibrated rope to measure water clarity
  • Monitor from May through September
  • Are encouraged to participate in the MPCA’s Lake Ice Reporter Program

Stream volunteers

  • Monitor any stream or river that flows year round
  • Collect water samples from a safe location on a bridge or stream bank
  • Use a Secchi tube to measure water clarity
  • Monitor from April through September
  • Are encouraged to join CoCoRaHS - Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, a national network of precipitation observers