Water Quality


The Volunteer Monitoring Program’s goal is to involve Oregonians in identifying and solving the state’s water quality problems. The program provides support including technical assistance in monitoring design, equipment use, data management and analysis. Volunteer groups participating in the program are eligible to receive high quality monitoring equipment on loan. Monitoring conducted by the DEQ's monitoring partners is described in:

   For additional information please contact Nick Haxton, Volunteer Monitoring Specialist at 503-693-5731.    

Objectives of the program

  • Provide resources to groups interested in conducting volunteer monitoring
  • Expand and support the volunteer monitoring efforts across the state
  • Promote consistent, comparable data collection techniques
  • Improve and document the quality of data collected by volunteer groups
  • Support the transformation of volunteer generated water quality data into information

Extent of the monitoring

  • Over 50 groups around the state have participated in the program
  • Organizations include Watershed Councils, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, non-governmental organizations and tribes
  • Monitoring includes continuous temperature monitoring, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, Escherichia coli and stream benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring
  • Volunteer organizations have submitted data from over 1000 locations in Oregon.

How data is used

Data is primarily used by volunteer organizations for local decisions and education

DEQ may use volunteer data for:
  • Watershed assessments and reporting
  • Determining if the state’s waters meet water quality standards, Water Quality Assessment
  • TMDL documentation or development