The Clean Water Act’s anniversary is October 18. To celebrate, CWCAP hosts the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) each year at Carkeek Park to “build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.”
The results from this event are compiled and shared with EarthEcho International where participation is tracked. Depending on the number of participants, groups of various sizes are formed and sent to sampling stations along the established trails in the park to perform water temperature, turbidity, pH, and dissolved oxygen tests with the simple kits that are provided.
The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. “Clean Water Act” became the Act’s common name with amendments in 1972.
The event traditionally takes place on the nearest Saturday to October 18 (anniversary of the CWA). This outdoor activity takes about 2 to 3 hours. Everyone gathers for about a half hour to talk about the program and the plan for the sampling. Once the groups are sent on their way, there’s time to discuss and share since the actual sampling includes a bit of waiting for tests to finish. The park is beautiful and conversations are extraordinary.
Though the 18th is early in the season, the first returning salmon in 2015 were seen on October 26. There’s nothing to stop them from returning earlier this year! In any case, there is lots of excitement in the park as the entire community anticipates the fall return of salmon in the park.
Returning salmon are celebrated each year for many reasons, but clean, safe, and healthy water is among the best reasons.
If you’d like to join us, you’ll learn about basic water quality testing while sharing a great curiosity and love for our natural systems.
Leave a comment or email CWCAP@carkeekwatershed.org for more information or to participate.