Staff collecting and studying water samples from a stream to track its health and quality.

Stream Monitoring

Collect water quality data for a year or more


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Stream Health Find a Location Requirements Working in the Stream Statewide Data Workshops

Stream Health

As a stream monitor, you'll learn more about Raleigh's waterways and collect data on the overall health/quality of a stream. We monitor stream health too

What You'll Track Description
Dissolved Oxygen The amount of oxygen dissolved in water that’s available for aquatic organisms. A healthy stream has lots of dissolved oxygen!
Bacteria Streams have lots of ‘good’ bacteria, but when excessive amounts of ‘bad’ bacteria enter a stream it can negatively impact water quality. Sources of bacterial pollution include: illegal sewer connections to storm sewers, sanitary sewer overflows and leaks, failing septic tanks, farm animal waste, and improper disposal of pet waste.
Nutrients Chemical elements, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, found naturally in small amounts in streams. Nitrogen and phosphorus are necessary for plant health, but excessive amounts can decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen available to aquatic organisms.
Temperature Water temperature affects the level of dissolved oxygen, how quickly photosynthesis occurs, as well as organisms’ resiliency to disease and other stressors.
Turbidity How clear the water’s appearance is. Turbid water is dark or cloudy in appearance, often as a result of soil erosion and sedimentation, urban runoff, or suspended plant debris.

Find a Location

Use the Raleigh Stream Watch dashboard to see what streams volunteers are monitoring. You can also see the water quality data they've collected!

Volunteers: You can add data to this dashboard. The data is for educational purposes only. We collect other water samples for regulatory requirements. 

Requirements

  • You need to complete a workshop before volunteering
  • There's a one-year volunteer commitment
  • Water samples are taken monthly 
  • Collecting samples of aquatic insects is done in the fall or spring (This is optional)
  • Use this form to add your data to the dashboard. 

Working in the Stream

You'll be collecting samples from the stream to monitor its health.

  • If you see water pollution, please let us know by email
  • Remember to get permission from nearby residents if you need to enter their property to get to the stream. 
Provided Volunteer Material
Safety vests
Monitoring kits 

Statewide Data

Stream health is important all across North Carolina. View this interactive map from NC Stream Watch to see data from volunteers statewide. 

Workshops

Workshops are held twice a year. The next virtual workshop is on April 24. See more details

Complete this registration form to monitor streams in Raleigh. 

Contact

 

Joyce Gaffney
Environmental & Sustainability Specialist 
919-996-4184

Department:
Engineering Services
Service Categories:
Stormwater
Related Services:
Become a Stormwater VolunteerLearn About Stormwater

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