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Mad River Watch

2017 Sampling (the 33rd Year of the Mad River Watch Program) is Complete!!

Mad River Watch volunteers have collected or will collect samples on the following dates during the summer of 2017: June 12, June 26, July 10, July 25, August 7, August 23.

FMR has been monitoring water quality in the Mad River since 1985 and has the longest continuous volunteer water quality monitoring dataset in the country. Every summer, volunteers collect water samples dozens of sites on the Mad River and its tributaries. Analysis includes water temperature, E. coli bacteria levels, total phosphorus, total nitrogen and turbidity. MRW E. coli samples are analyzed "in-house" and results are published in the Valley Reporter, Facebook and the FMR website and also displayed on FMR signs at ten popular swim holes weekly. Phosphorus, nitrogen, and turbidity data are available online at the end of the season when we receive the results from the state lab.

2017 Results:

July 10, 2017

June 12, 2017

June 26, 2017

July 10, 2017

July 25, 2017

August 7, 2017

August 23, 2017

The Mad River Watch Program is a water quality monitoring, improvement, and protection program for the Mad River and its tributaries sponsored by the Friends of the Mad River. The program involves community participants in collecting high quality information on the physical, chemical, and biological indicators of water quality. The overall goal of the MRWP is to restore and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the Mad River system by identifying and addressing water quality problems that affect the health and human use of the river ecosystem. Other goals include:
  • To build public support for clean water
  • To establish and maintain a long-term valley wide information base to help us evaluate the long-term health of the river and to take actions to improve and maintain it.
  • To provide an enriching educational and practical experience for junior and senior high school students which integrates and applies several sciences and social studies.
  • To increase public awareness of the connection between land use and water quality.

Do you want to be involved? We have volunteer opportunities each year. Be in touch by email or phone and let us know.

Long-term Data Reports:

Report - Water Quality Conditions in the Mad River Watershed, Vermont 1985-2015

Presentation - August 18, 2016: Mad River Watch: Safeguarding Our Future by Looking at the Past


2016 Results:

2016 Final Report 

E. coli

August 22, 2016

August 8, 2016

July 25, 2016

July 11, 2016

June 27, 2016

June 13, 2016


2015 Results:

June 15, 2015

June 29, 2015

July 13, 2015

July 27, 2015

August 10, 2015

August 24, 2015

All E. coli data - 2015 Data Summary

All Phosphorus and Turbidity data - 2015


Historical Data

2014 E. coli Summary results for all locations

All Phosphorus and Turbidity data - 2014

Total Phosphorus - 2013

Turbidity - 2013

2013 E. coli Summary results for all locations

2012 E. coli Summary results for all locations

2011 E. coli Summary results for all locations

2010 E. coli Summary results for all locations

Map of Sampling Locations

FMR collects samples at 36 sites in the Mad River watershed, including sites on the mainstem, several tributaries, and many of the popular swim holes.

A Primer for Safe Swimming

This primer reviews the facts about water quality and how it can affect swimmer's health.  Click here to view the guide.
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