Roaring Fork Valley residents are lucky to live in an area that is dominated by high water quality. To ensure that it stays that way, and to locate the areas that need our help, Roaring Fork Conservancy is performing water quality testing and analysis throughout the watershed. Currently, sampling is conducted on a periodic basis at 30 sites around the watershed including numerous sites along the Roaring Fork as well as many of its tributaries.
Another way Roaring Fork Conservancy monitors water quality concerns is through calls and emails from valley residents. In this way citizens can help us respond to problems as they arise. Although Roaring Fork Conservancy does not regulate or enforce water quality laws and codes, we often have the contacts to help citizens report problems such as spills and illegal discharges, to the proper authorities. To report a spill, illegal discharge, or any other water quality concern, contact us by calling (970) 927-1290.
Working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife's River Watch Program, Roaring Fork Conservancy's volunteer and student-collected data contributes to a state-wide water quality database. With this information, coordinated management practices are implemented and specific water quality concerns are addressed. Using this data, Roaring Fork Conservancy published the first State of the River Report in 2001 summarizing water quality around the watershed. A second report, the 2006 Water Quality Report, looked at the previous five years worth of data and identified areas of concern, including Cattle, Brush, and Fourmile Creeks, and the lower Crystal River.
Local data is collected by valley students and teachers through River Watch, by Stream Team volunteers from the community, and by Roaring Fork Conservancy staff. To learn more about how you can be involved in Roaring Fork Conservancy's Water Quality Monitoring program click on the Volunteer link above or email our Water Quality Coordinator.
Watershed-wide Macroinvertebrate Study Underway This fall, Roaring Fork Conservancy partnered with the State of Colorado Water Quality Control Division to conduct macroinvertebrate sampling in the Roaring Fork Valley. Scientists and volunteers collected samples in the field between September 26 and October 3 at 17 sites throughout the Roaring Fork Watershed. Macroinvertebrates, or aquatic insects, serve as important indicators of stream health. In late January we received data from the lab and will begin to assess the health of stream segments we sampled. "At first glance the data shows good species diversity and, initially, most sections being fairly healthy," explains water quality coordinator Chad Rudow. "We'll know more details after more analysis in the coming weeks." This study is another way Roaring Fork Conservancy is working proactively to assess stream health and determine how to best protect our rivers. Watch Video of Sampling. Macroinvertebrate Study in the News: Macroinvertebrate Study samples health of local rivers (start at 2:00) - Aspen Public Radio 10/5/11 Jeepers Creepers: Roaring Fork Conservancy studying bugs to gauge river's health - Aspen Daily News 10/6/11 Roaring Fork Conservancy's macroinvertebrate study - Radio Free Aspen 100.5FM 10/31/11
ROARING FORK CONSERVANCY Brings People Together to Protect Our Rivers