Volunteers And Scientists Team Up To Test Boise River Water Quality

Sep 30, 2016

The Boise River in Garden City.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A group of scientists and trainers will work with volunteers Saturday to monitor the quality of water in the Boise River. 

The annual project is sponsored by the cities of Boise, Meridian and Caldwell, as well as several state and federal environmental agencies. Teams will test ten sites along the river, from Barber Park down river to Parma. They’ll conduct tests for things like oxygen, bacteria and phosphorous, while also identifying aquatic native and non-native species in the river. 

Cindy Busche is the WaterShed Education Coordinator for the City of Boise. She says past tests have revealed the river gets more polluted the farther it flows downstream. She says one big culprit in urban areas like the Treasure Valley is stormwater runoff from yards and businesses, which are connected to the river through the drain system. 

"Our storm drains in town all lead directly to the Boise River, untreated," Busche says. 

Overall, she says the river is considered healthy enough for human recreation and to serve as a fishery.

More than 75 volunteers have signed up to participate. Those wishing to participate who haven’t already signed up can meet at the stream gauge monitor on the south side of the Glenwood bridge.

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