Doing it yourself
If you are unable to interest a university or high school in testing the water, consider doing it yourself Many grassroots groups and watershed partnerships-such as the Isaak Walton League-have members who have at least some college chemistry and/or biology training and are more than capable of gathering baseline information on flow rates, fish habitat conditions, acidity, and other parameters. Check to see if there is a volunteer monitoring program in your watershed. These programs are usually staffed by trained nonprofessional citizen members who are usually well-organized and operate under rigorous quality control guidelines. Many of the organizations take water quality samples and assess stream and lake conditions on a periodic basis.