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Monitoring Tools

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Determining whether the source of E.coli or Enterococcus is from animal or human sewage is key to formulating a catchment plan aimed at reducing pollution in our waterbodies.

Low cost kits for testing phosphate in river water, most often used by catchment community groups is the Hanna Instruments H1-716 Low phosphate kit. (nicknamed the Green Egg). The handheld equipment (£72 + VAT) needs a set of reagents for 25 samples to be processed (£14 + VAT). The measurement is based on an instanaeous colorimetrics. Although its not as accurate as laboratory testing, it is more accurate than the current phosphate strips in the Westcountry Rivers CSI kits.

The Aqua Troll 600, is a multi-parameter real time water quality testing probe, which will accurately measure a range of paparmeters (eg pH, turbidity, conductivity, temperature etc) and send the information to a team of observers via mobile phone. This enables citizen scientists to react quickly to signals of possible pollution events. The equipment can cost up to £10,000 depending on the modules added. Rental options are available. Discounts for catchment community groups have been offered. Funding has been made possible by inter-parish collaboration of riparean parish councils.

Citizen Science Investigators across the South West are using the WRT water sampling kit. Online training is provided and the kits cost about £30. The kits monitor temperature, turbidity and phosphate using simple equipment. CSI volunteers also record wildlife obersations and generatal observations of the water body. This information is uploaded onto


The Riverfly Partnership is a dynamic network of organisations, representing anglers, conservationists, entomologists, scientists, water course managers and relevant authorities, working together to: protect the water quality of our rivers; further the understanding of riverfly populations; and actively conserve riverfly habitats. There are several trained CSI Invesitgators in our catchments who contribute data to the Riverfly Partnership national surveys. Riverfly populations are an important indicator of water quality and the baseline prey for many species.

Plant ID Apps are available as free downloads and can help community groups, organising a Bioblitz, to record the flora around them. Apps include: Pl@nt Net, iNaturalist. Seek by iNaturalist (identifies flora and fauna) and Merlin Bird ID identifies birds from birdsong.

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