Category Archives: Water Monitoring

Virginians Who Use Private Wells, Springs, or Cisterns Can Get Inexpensive Baseline Testing and Assistance from the Virginia Household Water Quality Program and Master Well-owner Network; Drinking-water Clinics in 2017 Run from March 15 to November 1 in over 50 Localities

The Virginia Household Water Quality Program offers drinking-water clinics in which people who rely on private wells, springs, or cisterns can get  their water tested inexpensively for key constituents and receive a report interpreting the results.  The cost to participate in 2017 is $55.  The clinics in 2017, running from March 15 to November 1, will be cover over 50 localities.  A list of upcoming clinics in 2017 is available at this Web site: http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu/events.php.

Meanwhile, as of February 2017, the Virginia Master Well Owner network has over 180 members—volunteers as well as staff from Virginia Cooperative Extension and other state agencies—in several dozen Virginia localities who can assist Virginians with drinking-water well questions and problems.

Both programs are coordinated by the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering.  More information is available online at http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu, or contact the coordinator of the programs, Erin James Ling, at (540) 231-9058 or wellwater@vt.edu.

For a news account of the well-testing program, please see Virginia Tech researchers: Flint-like problems also present in Virginia wells, Roanoke Times, 4/10/16.

Two Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Announcements from Virginia DEQ in February 2017: DEQ Seeking Water-quality Data from Citizen/Non-Agency Monitoring Groups for 2018 305(b)/303(d) Report; 2016 Citizen/Non-Agency Monitoring Activity Report Available

As of early February 2017, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking water quality data to help assess Virginia waterways for the next biennial, statewide water-quality report (the 2018 report), known as the 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Report (referring to relevant section numbers of the federal Clean Water Act).  Information about the biennial report is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityAssessments.aspx (see also this News Grouper link on the 2016 report).

Please note that groups which are part of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Friends of Shenandoah River, or Virginia Save Our Streams, or who routinely upload data to the DEQ Citizen/Non-Agency Database, do not need to resubmit their results.

For more information on submitting data, contact the DEQ’s James Beckley at james.beckley@deq.virginia.gov.

Meanwhile, the DEQ’s report summarizing the contributions of monitoring organizations for 2016 is available online at the DEQ’s “Citizen Monitoring” Web site, http://deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityMonitoring/CitizenMonitoring.aspx (click on “Follow-Up Monitoring”).

Information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/; or contact Jane Walker at the janewalk@vt.edu or (540) 231-4159.  Please feel free to forward this information; when forwarding, please acknowledge the VWMC.

Shenandoah River Algal Monitoring Methods are Subject of Dec. 2, 2016, Webinar by Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality

On December 2, 2016, starting at 10 a.m., the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public informational Webinar on the Shenandoah River Monitoring Plan/algal field methods development.

Webinar registration online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9033045853411247873 (that Web site also has information on public viewing at the DEQ’s central office in Richmond and Valley Regional Office in Harrisonburg).

According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this Webinar, “[i]n response to citizen concerns raised about algae growth in the Shenandoah River, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) prioritized 5 stream segments, totaling about 25 river miles, for follow-up monitoring in 2016 and 2017.  The purpose of this monitoring is to test field methods that are scientifically based, defensible and reproducible, for estimating the percent coverage of river bottom by filamentous algae.”  The Dec. 2 Webinar is for the DEQ to share progress on developing the algal-monitoring methods.  More information on the development of the algal methods is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityAssessments/ShenandoahAlgae.aspx.

For more information, contact the DEQ’s Don Kain in Harrisonburg, Donald.Kain@deq.virginia.gov, (540) 574-7815; or  Sandra Mueller in Richmond, Sandra.Mueller@deq.virginia.gov, (804) 698-4324.

$10.9 Million Granted in August 2016 by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projects

On August 25, 2016, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program announced recipients of $10.9 million in grants for 39 habitat-restoration, pollution-reduction, or citizen-involvement projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The NFWF administers the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund that provides grants under two EPA programs: the Small Watershed Grants Program and the Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program.  The Bay Stewardship Fund also receives support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and private companies.  For this funding cycle, $4.8 million was awarded to 28 projects under the Small Watershed Grants program, and $6.1 million was awarded to 11 projects under the Innovated Grants program.  According to Bay Journal, this year’s grant awards in Virginia include $3.5 million for 11 projects.

According to the NFWF’s news release of this year’s grants, “Since 2006, the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program has provided $58 million to 140 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.   Since 1999, the Small Watershed Grants Program has provided $47 million to support 773 projects in the region and has further leveraged $136 million in local matching funds for a total conservation investment in on-the-ground restoration of over $183 million.”

More information on Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is available at http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Pages/home.aspx, and information generally on the NFWF’s grant programs is available at http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/Pages/home.aspx.

Sources:
Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Announces Nearly $11 Million in Funding to Support Cleaner Water, Improve Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation News Release, 8/25/16.
Bay cleanup effort gets nearly $11 million infusion, Bay Journal, 8/25/16.
Grants will improve shorelines, trout habitat, Culpeper Star Exponent, 9/18/16.

For Water Central News Grouper items on grants in previous years, please see these links:
2012;
2013.

Virginia Citizens for Water Quality Annual Summit will be Dec. 10, 2016, in Ashland

On December 10, 2016, the Virginia Citizens for Water Quality will hold its annual summit at Randolph Macon College in Ashland.  For more information, visit http://vcwq.wordpress.com/.

For other water-related conferences and meetings in Virginia, please see this blog’s “Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events,” at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Quick+Guide.

Request for Stream Mitigation Project Proposals in Big Sandy River Basin in Virginia; Proposals Due to Nature Conservancy by August 25, 2016

On July 7, 2016, the Nature Conservancy announced a request for proposals for one or more stream mitigation projects to compensate for impacts to streams in the Big Sandy River basin in Virginia, under the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund mitigation program.  Proposals are due by August 25, 2016.  The request for proposals is available online at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/vartf-big-sandy-river-proposal-72016.xml.

Under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and under Virginia’s Water Protection Permit Program, which implements parts of Sections 401 and 404 of the CWA, a permit is required for disturbances (clearing, filling, excavating, draining, or ditching) to wetlands or streams covered by the CWA, and such disturbances are to be mitigated be avoidance, minimization, or compensation; or more information on mitigation, see the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Mitigation,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.  The Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is a mitigation program for impacts to streams and wetlands permitted by state and federal regulatory agencies; it’s administered by the Nature Conservancy, the Virginia DEQ, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the federal agency with primary responsibility for enforcing CWA Section 404).  More information about the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is available online from the Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/the-virginia-aquatic-resources-trust-fund-home.xml; and from the Virginia DEQ online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.

Some of the information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

Virginia DEQ Inviting Proposals for Citizen Water-quality Monitoring Grants for 2017; Applications Due August 31, 2016

Through August 31, 2016, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is inviting proposals for citizen water-quality monitoring grants for 2017. The grants will be awarded competitively and have a maximum award of $10,000, but grants of $1000 and $4000 are also anticipated.  The grants are to cover project activities from January 1 to December 31, 2017; a final report on the use of the grants funds will be due by February 16, 2018.  Any organization that involves citizen volunteers in water-quality monitoring in Virginia is eligible to apply.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) information is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityMonitoring/CitizenMonitoring.aspx.

For more information, contact Stuart Torbeck, Va. DEQ Data Liaison, at (804) 698-4461 or charles.torbeck@deq.virginia.gov.

The Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) provided information for this post.  More information on the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.