This week our Hydrologist, Rebecca Haw, spent time volunteering with the Trent Rivers Trust as part of their ‘The River Starts Here!’ campaign. The invertebrate monitoring project is run in conjunction with the Environment Agency to support their monitoring and improvements to local watercourse quality. Through the course, the Environment Agency provided training on sampling methods and invertebrate identification.
Throughout the day, Rebecca built on her existing experience of invertebrate sampling through completing a kick sample survey. Invertebrates were then identified, grouping them by species as laid out in the guides provided. Once identified the invertebrates were counted. Through completing this process and recording their findings on the Urban RiverFly database, a picture of local watercourse’s water quality can be built up providing the opportunity to identify locations for improvement works to take place. Invertebrates are an excellent water quality indictor, with sensitive species found only in clean pristine water and more tolerant species found in lower quality or polluted water. Whilst our team often test water quality through chemical tests, this option isn’t available to community groups. Chemical testing also provides a snap shot of the water quality where as long term monitoring of invertebrates can show fluctuations of water quality.
At the end of the day all the participants were accredited as RiverFly surveyors enabling them to complete invertebrate samples across the Trent River Trust areas and nationally with the RiverFly Partnership. Each volunteer has also taken on a monitoring point to survey throughout the year, to begin to build up the picture of water quality in the local area.
Reflecting on the day, Rebecca commented: “It was great to get out into the field and meet local people who are committed to monitoring their local watercourses to improve their quality”.
Find out more about the work of our surface water team here. If you would like to know more about our work, get in touch on 01332 871 882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.