Richland Creek at Byers Road


The Water Action Volunteers Program (WAV) involves citizen monitors in the collection of stream water quality data that may be used by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and their partner organizations. Program goals include building relationships between DNR staff and citizen monitors while assessing streams in need of additional monitoring, restoration, and/or protection. Ultimately, volunteer participation increases capabilities of the DNR and communities to monitor streams, providing water quality information that may be used to make decisions that affect the management of streams throughout Wisconsin.


The main goal of the WAV program is to preserve and protect Wisconsin’s streams and the lakes to which they are connected. Objectives of the program are to educate and empower citizens to share their data, to obtain high quality data useful for DNR decision-making, and to encourage data and knowledge sharing. The process of data collection by Wisconsin residents enhances their understanding of water quality parameters, and in many cases, interests them in assisting with more sophisticated projects, including the collection of additional biological, chemical, and physical site data. Ultimately, a goal is that DNR staff trust volunteer data results, and therefore utilize WAV data to assist in making management decisions.

Study Design

Volunteer stream monitors assess water quality parameters identified in the DNR’s Water Resources Monitoring Strategy for Wisconsin. Volunteers may identify their own sampling locations. In some instances, WAV Coordinators, DNR, or county staff may recommend sites based on the need to acquire status or trends information, or other types of monitoring that are priorities. In general, volunteers are asked to monitor from May through October. Advanced volunteers choose primary (P) and secondary (S) sampling dates in advance and note on their data sheets which of those dates they monitored. Volunteers are asked to sample on the primary date unless there are safety concerns about being at the stream site (e.g., tornado, lightning, dangerously high flows) or a personal or family emergency. The goal is to monitor at the same time each month, about 30 days after the last monitoring visit. Volunteers are instructed to enter data into the Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS) database by the end of each month and to immediately report extreme conditions that may be hazardous to aquatic life to their local DNR or County biologist. Parameters measured monthly include: dissolved oxygen (concentration), dissolved oxygen (saturation), streamflow, transparency, temperature (instantaneous and/or continuous measurements), and sometimes pH. In addition, macroinvertebrates (Biotic Index) are assessed twice per year and habitat conditions are assessed once per year. Some volunteers monitor specific conductance, chloride, total phosphorus, E. coli, or other parameters.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Related-Projects

Citizen Based Stream Monitoring
Volunteer Monitoring
Reports and Documents
202010Richland upstream
202010Richland downstream
202010Richland testsite
202009Richland testsite
202009Richland upstream
202009Richland downstream
202008Richland testsite
202008Richland downstream
202008Richland upstream
202007Richland downstream
202007Richland testsite
202007Richland upstream
202006Richland upstream
202006Richland downstream
202006Richland testsite
202005Richland testsite
202005Richland upstream
202005Richland downstream
202004Richland testsite
202004Richland downstream
202004Richland upstream
201910richland downstream
201910richland testsite
201910richland upstream
201909richland upstream
201909richland downstream
201909richland testsite
201908richland testsite
201908richland downstream
201908richland upstream
201907richland downstream
201907richland testsite
201907richland upstream
201906richland testsite
201906richland downstream
201906richland upstream
201905 boydtown downstream
201905 boydtown testsite
201905richland downstream
201905richland upstream
201905 richland creek algae growth more abundant than usual
201905richland testsite
201810 Richland Upstream after heavy rains
201810 WAV coordinator brings tea after testing at Richland!
201810 Richland Downstream after heavy rains
201810 Richland Testsite after heavy rains
201809 View RichlandDownstream
201809 View RichlandTestSite
201809 View RichlandUpstream
201808 View RichlandUpstream
201808 view RichlandDownsteam
201808 View RichlandTestSite
201807 View RichlandDownstream
201807 View RichlandTestSite
201807 View RichlandUpstream
201804 View RichlandTestSite
201804 View RichlandUpstream
201804 View RichlandDownstream
201710RichlandUpstream at Byers
201710RichalndDownstream at Byers
201710RichlandTestsite at Byers
201710RichlandUpstreamErosion at Byers, erosion and stream meander upstream of test site
201709RichlandDownstream at Byers
201709RichlandUpstream at Byers
201709RichlandTestsite at Byers
201708RichlandDownstream at Byers
201708RichlandUpstream at Byers
201708RichlandTestsite at Byers
201707 Richland Cr at Byers Rd testing site
201707 Richland Cr at Byers Rd downstream
201707 Richland Cr at Byers Rd upstream
201706 Richland Cr at Byers testing site
201706 Richland Cr at Byers upstream (this is the correct photo - the other named for this date is May)
201706 Richland Cr at Byers downstream
June 2017 Richland Creek at Byers Rd upstream from testing site
May 2017 Richland Creek at Byers Rd testing site
May 2017 Richland Creek at Byers Rd entrance marker. NOTE - photo titled 201706 Richland Creek at Byers Rd upstream should be 201705
Richland Creek at Byers Rd looking downstream from testing site
Activities & Recommendations
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.