Spring and Summer of 2018 BEAT, HVA, HooRWA, and BRPC will be collecting data

Abstract: During the Spring and Summer of 2018 BEAT, HVA, HooRWA, and BRPC will be collecting data in the waterways of Dalton, Cheshire, Pittsfield, Adams, Lanesborough, and Pittsfield. This data will help towns meet municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) requirements and reduce stormwater pollution. Interns and volunteers will gain skills and experience related to data collection, mapping, ArcCollector, and water quality sampling.


Overview: Municipalities have developed their stormwater systems to convey rainwater and snow melt from land areas, to a nearby waterbody, like a stream, pond, or river. This land area, especially in an urbanized area, is typically from an impervious surface such as a parking lot or roadway. The stormwater flows into a stormwater grate and exits through pipes into a waterbody, which is termed an outfall. The pipes that transport this water are underground and in many cases are located above, below, or beside sewer pipes. When both sets of pipes age, rust, and corrode there is the possibility of cross-contamination, where sewage get into stormwater pipes or visa versa. Sewage that gets into the stormwater system inevitably ends up polluting our brooks, streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. This project seeks to map, identify, and fix these sources of point source pollution.


During late February and March, interns and volunteers will be trained by BEAT, HVA, and HooRWA to use an Arc Collector smartphone app. The app is user friendly and compatible with both Android and iPhone devices. It allows the user to record the location, attribute data, and photos of stormwater outfalls.


After being trained on the app volunteers and interns will be deployed to sections of the river to survey and map during dry weather conditions. Dry weather conditions means it has rained less than 0.1” in the previous 72 hours. We survey only during dry weather conditions in order to identify potential point source pollution. As stormwater systems are designed to only carry rainwater, if there is dry weather flow or, a liquid exiting the outfall during dry weather conditions, then it begs the question, what is it?


After mapping dry weather flows interns and volunteers will be trained under the quality assurance project plan (QAPP) so they can collect water samples. Water samples will be analyzed by a certified lab as well as students. These data will be incorporated into the project report as well as guide remediation prioritization.


Essentially, interns and volunteers will be trained in the use of an ArcCollector smartphone app, deployed to streams and rivers to map and collect attribute data on stormwater outfalls, trained under a QAPP, and collect water samples. Volunteer Monitors work in teams for safety reasons and to help ensure quality control.


Time Commitment: Approximately 8 hours per week for 12 weeks (96 hours)

Skills Necessary: willingness to learn data collection techniques, attention to detail especially pertaining to quality control, sure footing

Skills Acquired: ArcCollector, water quality sampling, mapping

Equipment Necessary: Smartphone

Equipment Provided: chest waders, kayaks where needed, measuring equipment