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CRWA Baseline Water Quality Monitoring

CRWA Baseline Water Quality Monitoring


Volunteer Monthly Water Quality Monitoring Project

Once a month, more than eighty volunteers gather at thirty-five sites along the river to collect water samples, measure depth and temperature, and record river conditions. The water quality monitoring program is now in its 20th year, and is one of the oldest and largest volunteer sampling programs in the country. The data collected is used to identify problems in the river and trends in water quality, and to track the progress of efforts to clean up the Charles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to use our data to award a grade for the annual Charles River report card. Our data and analyses also assist municipalities and environmental agencies and organizations who are working to minimize stormwater impacts and reduce sewage contamination in the river.

Click here to donate to this program.

About the project


Information for Volunteers

Monthly water monitoring volunteers are responsible for taking a water sample at an assigned site once a month at 6am; volunteers are trained by CRWA staff and equipment is provided.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Cristina Kennedy for more information or fill out a volunteer application form here.


2013/2014 Bacteria Results

Water Quality Data Table

CRWA analyzes river samples once a month at 35 locations for Escherichia Coli (E. coli) bacteria, an indicator of human health risks.  Click here for the most recent bacteria data. 

Monthly Water Quality Maps

View monthly color-coded maps representing the reaches of the river that meet or exceed
state swimming and/or boating standards for e.coli bacteria.


For an interactive view of monthly bacteria results, view them in Google Earth™:

(You must have Google Earth™ or another .kml viewer to view these files.  Google Earth™ is free to download)


Historical Water Quality Results: 1995 - 2013


Additional water quality testing results are available for download as Excel spreadsheets. Click title to download. Data will become available as it is checked for accuracy.  Please contact Julie Wood with any questions regarding the data.

Many thanks to project sponsors

CRWA and all of our volunteers appreciate the generous support from funders of the 2013 volunteer monitoring program:

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