BENEFITING: LAKE PEND OREILLE WATERKEEPER
In March, 2016, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper (LPOW) will spearhead our new Citizen Science Stormwater Monitoring Program to track the composition of stormwater runoff into local waterways! Stormwater is one of the most significant threats to water quality across the nation, simply because it's easily polluted with litter, debris, sediment and many types of synthetic chemicals as it runs over hard surfaces like asphalt and even sod.
Collected in the storm drain systems of our local communities, underground pipes and culverts direct this polluted runnoff into our local waterways including Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River. The vast majority of stormwater passes through the system untreated, which means those harmful substances and materials it's picked up on its journey are deposited into the water.
Since no state agency or other organization currently tracks what's in our stormwater, LPOW has decided to step up in a big way to fill this gap. It's important that we start asking what potential pollutants runoff carries and how those pollutants might affect the health of local waterways.
LPOW is committed to keeping Lake Pend Oreille and its associated waterways swimmable, fishable and drinkable, but we need your help! We need your support to fully fund the program. Here's a breakdown of what we hope to accomplish this season:
- Stormwater samples will be collected from 2 locations in Sandpoint and 2 locations in Ponderay, Idaho that drain to Lake Pend Oreille.
- Samples will be collected from March to May when the impact of snow melt and spring rain is at its peak regionally.
- Samples will also be collected monthly as well as in response to large rain events.
- This effort will produce approximately 36 storm water samples including field duplicates, laboratory blanks and samples collected after 1 large rain event per month.
- Samples will be analyzed for common storm water pollutants including bacteria (E. Coli and total coliform bacteria), nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous), total organic carbon, metals, oil and gasoline, pesticides, and total suspended solids.
The cost of this program is $5,000 per sample. The great news is that we have already raised half of what it will take to run the program at all four locations for 3 months! Our crowdrise goal is to raise the remainder of the funds we need to fully implement the program this year, which is $10,000.
To learn more about the program and others, you can visit our website. Please donate today!