World Water Monitoring Day (Pennsylvania)
World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) – an international education and outreach program to involve the public in monitoring and protecting water resources – takes place on September 18 each year. WWMD volunteers use a simple test kit to measure key water quality indicators in local water bodies, including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen levels. All of these indicators can impact aquatic wildlife. For example, high water temperatures or extremely acidic water (low pH) can make it hard for some aquatic wildlife, insects and plant species to survive. Clear water (low turbidity) with ample dissolved oxygen will support a wide variety of aquatic animals.
In 2009, volunteers participated in 49 states, DC and Puerto Rico. Volunteers in Pennsylvania found that local waterways had an average pH level of 7.5. Most aquatic animals prefer a pH range of 6.5 to 8.0. Outside of this range, animals may stop reproducing, move away or even die.
Viewer Tip: Get involved! You can test water quality in your community and report results back to the World Water Monitoring Day coordinators. Visit http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org/Participate/Participate_Main.html to register your site and get a test kit.
World Water Monitoring Day is coordinated by the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association
(Sources: Water Environment Federation and International Water Association. 2009. “World Water Monitoring Day 2009 Year in Review.” Available from http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org/; Montana Watercourse of the Montana Water Center, “Volunteer Water Monitoring Guidebook.” Available from http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org/)