Delaware River Watershed Initiative - Water Quality Monitoring

  • Wednesday, October 04, 2017
  • Monday, November 30, 2020

DCVA is looking for additional volunteers to become part of DCVA's Citizen Scientist Monitoring Team.

 DCVA is a partner watershed organization within the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Cluster that is part of William Penn Foundation's Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI).  DCVA received some funding from William Penn Foundation to monitor water quality with Citizen Scientists in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  That work will continue in 2018, 2019 and 2020.  Together with our Citizen Scientist water quality monitors DCVA is monitoring water quality at 13 locations in Cobbs Creek and Naylor’s Run, in Upper Darby and Haverford Townships.  DCVA used some of those funds to purchase a hand-held water quality meter, microscopes and aquatic insect (macroinvertebrate) sampling equipment.  DCVA also received a supplemental grant from The Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS) at Drexel University to identify and count the macroinvertebrates we collected during 2014, 2015 and 2016.  Those data are being submitted to ANS where they are being rolled up into a huge database of water quality information from throughout the Delaware River Watershed.  The ANS has a publicly available web application that allows anyone to view the data that has been collected as part of the DRWI effort.

The monitoring currently consists of collecting and identifying aquatic insects (macroinvertebrates) annually from all 13 locations.  The types and numbers of insects we find tell us a lot about the water quality at those sample locations.  DCVA collects quarterly water samples that are analyzed for (chloride, nitrate-nitrogen, ortho-phorphorus, total phosphorus, and total dissolved solids), our Citizen Scientist Volunteers visit the 13 locations every other month and field analyze the water (using kits) for chloride, dissolved oxygen, nitrate nitrogen, total phosphorus, temperature, and pH, and on the months when our Volunteers are not assessing water quality, DCVA is visiting each location and assessing the water quality using a multi-meter to measure similar water quality parameters.

DCVA will continue this monitoring program through 2018, 2019, and 2020 with funding we will be receiving from William Penn Foundation, and our monitoring program is going to expand.  The expanded monitoring is going to include installing “bank-pins” to monitor bank erosion, water depth and flow monitoring meters, one or possibly three “real-time” water quality monitoring stations, and possibly more if we can find the capacity within our organization.  To expand the monitoring program, DCVA is looking for additional volunteers to become part of DCVA's Citizen Scientist Monitoring Team.  If you are interested in joining DCVA's team of Citizen Scientists please email Derron LaBrake at

As part of the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Cluster’s efforts to collect more and some higher quality data the Cluster Partners have scheduled training sessions for our Citizen Scientists.  The training is first rate and will be conducted by experts in those fields, who will explain how to collect the information and what it will be used for.  This is an opportunity to learn something new, collect data first-hand, and gain new insights and understandings about streams, creeks, water quality and the health of a couple of our local creeks.  Here are the training events that the Cluster Partners have scheduled for the remainder of 2017 and some of ones we have planned for 2018, with more to come.  All of DCVA's Citizen Scientist Volunteers will need to attend the training session that is specific to the type of monitoring that they want to help DCVA with.  All of the training sessions are free and will be conducted by experts in those fields.

Darby Creek Valley Association P.O. Box 732 Drexel Hill, PA 19026   |   Phone: 484.222.2502
Jaclyn Rhoads, President –
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