FAQs and Resources
FAQs relating to 2024 Changes to Watershed Watch
If we agree to merge into a single, centralized organization, how will that change the current basin organizations?
How will samplers form Teams and find Support Hubs?
Some volunteers already sample in pairs or groups and will naturally form a new Sampling Team. You will register as a Team in early 2024 once the new database is available and you have received training guidance on new protocols.
Some volunteers sample alone and should try to recruit one or more individuals to participate with you. This will strengthen your efforts, better ensure sampling consistency, and hopefully be more fun!
Some volunteers sample in very remote locations and may have difficulty finding a sampling partner. These individuals can continue to participate independently.
What if I still want to have my samples analyzed by a lab for E. coli or other pollutants?
Watershed Watch plans to create a way for sample analysis at labs when coordination and funding support are available. This can take place through continuing arrangements at the River Basin level, a Support Hub, or through the state coordinator. It is envisioned that focused sampling may be desired when E. coli concentrations are consistently high and lab verification is desired. In these cases, Watershed Watch will make efforts to help arrange sample collection and laboratory analysis.
Frequently asked questions
How do I become a sampler?
Contact WWKY to indicate your interest and we will connect you with an in-person training opportunity or get you started with an online training presentation. Once you have completed this introductory course, you will be provided with sampling equipment and complete our sampler agreement form. Prior to each sampling event in May, July and September, you will be invited to register for participation. Additional sampling supplies, instructions and forms will be mailed to you in advance of the sampling event.
How often do I need to become re-certified to sample and keep my sampling equipment updated?
Watershed Watch asks that you complete a video or in-person recertification course every 3 years to make sure you are current and informed about most current sampling protocols. We will also notify you when your sampling kit chemicals are out-of-date and will send you new chemicals.
What do I need to do when I decide to stop sampling?
Notify our Volunteer Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you will no longer be sampling and make arrangements to return your loaned sampling equipment.
What happens with my sampling results?
They are received by your basin's data manager and reviewed for accuracy. Then, they are added to the WWKY data portal for public viewing. Your basin organization will notify you of their availability and may send you a summary of the results by email. The results are also compiled in other formats, including an annual Basin Data Report, Basin Report Card, and Data Presentation.
How can I find out who else is sampling in my area?
You can use the map function on the WWKY data portal to zoom to your sampling location and identify other sampling sites. You can also contact one of your basin representatives to inquire about other samplers in your area. These contacts should also be available on your basin-specific webpage. See basin webpage links on our homepage.
How do I report a water quality or other environmental concern?
Our Action page provides specific instructions on when and how to contact the Kentucky Division of Water regarding a water quality threat or concern.
How can I ask a different question or make a suggestion to improve Watershed Watch in Kentucky?
You can make these suggestions directly to one of your basin representatives or click here for general comments.
For WWKY Samplers:
Watershed Watch Informational Brochure - Please feel free to use this if you want to help explain and promote the organization!
Fondriest Environmental Learning Center - provides in-depth explanation of water quality parameters
WikiWatershed Model My Watershed - a watershed modeling web application that enables citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, educators, and students to better understand land use implications to water quality
Arkansas Watershed Steward Handbook - this document provides background and guidance for watershed stewardship; although some information is specific to Arkansas, much of the content is also relevant to Kentucky
General Water Info:
River Basin Maps - The Kentucky Geological Survey developed detailed maps for each of the state's major river basins.
USEPA's How's My Waterway - Search by an address to find information about the condition of your local waters, based on data that states, federal, tribal, local agencies and others have provided to the USEPA.
Kentucky Water Health Portal - water quality information provided by the Kentucky Division of Water in a map-based format
Kentucky Watershed Academy - this online training course provides presentations for watershed coordinators and others related to the Clean Water Act, Water Quality Basics, Dealing with Data, Land Use Impacts and Related Best Management Practices, Likely Partners and Effective Communications
Kentucky Watershed Viewer - an ArcGIS-based watershed research tool
Kentucky Waterways Alliance - a nonprofit organization focused on promoting networking, communication and mutual support among groups, government agencies, and businesses working on waterway issues
Kentucky Watershed Planning Guidebook - provides a step-by-step process that Kentucky communities can use to create an effective watershed plan that enables groups to work together to improve the waterways they appreciate and use