Sullied Sediments thanks its volunteers during the UK's Volunteer Week (1-7 June 2019)
To mark the UK's Volunteer Week (#VolunteerWeek), the Sullied Sediments team would like to send a big thank you to all the volunteers who have taken part in our water sampling programme to date. Without these volunteers, who have been recruited through the Canal and River Trust's volunteer networks, we would not be able to get to as many locations and collect the range of water quality data that is so valuable to our project.
So far, we have received over 100 records from six different watercourses in the UK's Humber River catchment. We now have an online map that shows where our volunteers have been active. Click the link below to view this map. The volunteers who we have worked with so far have been real trailblazers, helping us to pilot a brand-new water testing device and our customised RiverDip app. We are expecting lots more records to be generated by our different volunteer groups over the coming months:
To help viewers with interpreting the map, we have prepared a few pointers below:
Each pin represents a single record uploaded via the RiverDip app. The pins are colour coded to reflect the level of phosphate found at a given location. We use five colours for five different levels: none, low, medium, high and ‘failed for one reason or another’.
As you will see, many of the records indicate low levels of phosphate or levels below what we can measure (shown as none on the map). We do see some areas where medium or high levels of phosphate are detected too. More often than not, these higher levels occur when sediment has been disturbed and the phosphate has been re-released into the water column, giving us a temporary area of high phosphate concentration.
On the map you will also see a number of ‘failed devices’: these are tests that have not yielded any useful results. This can occur for various reasons, for example water may not have been able enter the PAD, a shadow across the image could distort the image analysis or the image could be obstructed by debris in the sample. In developing anything new we always find problems but we can learn from these as we develop the sampling further. That’s all part of research!
We are looking forward to continuing this campaign over the summer and working more volunteers from the Anglers Monitoring Initiative and Yorkshire Derwent Catchment Partnership and young volunteers who are part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Tomorrow's Natural Leaders programme.
If you have any questions about our volunteer sampling campaign, please contact Annabel Hanson, Sullied Sediments Project Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.