The LaRosa Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Analytical
Services Partnership (LaRosa Partnership Program)
Since 2003, this partnership has helped watershed organizations and monitoring groups across Vermont implement new and/or ongoing monitoring projects for surface waters in need of water quality assessment by helping to alleviate the financial burden of laboratory analysis costs.
This testing allows community members to engage with their local streams and rivers firsthand, learn about water quality issues, and use water testing to identify where impacts are present.
- The 2021 sampling season begins May 1st! Please review the 2021 season schedule and the Water Quality Sampling Guide document.
- Thank you to our partners for attending the 2021 Annual Training! For links to the training materials including the training slideshow, guidance documents, flow observation examples, the flow submission form, and training videos, see the EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS section of the website.
- Reminder to all partners: prior to acidifying total nitrogen samples, read the Instructions, Sulfuric Acid Safety Data Sheets, and sign and return the Safety Agreement.
- Two new data reports are available under the VIEW & EXPORT LAROSA DATA section of the website for viewing and exporting site summary and water chemistry data. These reports are connected to the Watershed Management Division's IWIS database and can be used to access LPP monitoring data by organization.
- Questions about the new LaRosa Partnership Program model? Check out this Question and Answer Document (updated 2/23/21).
- One of our partners, Connecticut River Conservancy, was featured on a PBS special about water quality in the Connecticut River.
THE PROGRAM MODEL
VIEW & EXPORT LAROSA DATA
FORMS AND TEMPLATES
VT AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAB (VAEL)
PARTNERS- PAST & PRESENT
INQUIRY FORM, TESTIMONIALS, and PHOTOS
Waters in need of monitoring that are of particular concern to your watershed group and of interest to our department are encouraged to apply for this partnership. The concern could be recreational, aesthetics, or simply an overwhelming feeling that an impact is occurring that has yet to be addressed and more sampling is required.
If you do become a LaRosa partner, responsibilities include nominating sites for water quality monitoring; training volunteers to collect the water samples; collecting, organizing, and storing the water samples for pick-up; quality checking the data via a prepared template; and disseminating the results to the public. If you are sampling E.coli at swimming holes, posting signs directly at the sites is also required.
Interested in partnering with the LaRosa Partnership Program (LPP)? Review all the documents and resources provided on this webpage and contact the LPP staff.
The overall goals of the LaRosa Partnership Program (LPP) – to provide priority, meaningful water quality monitoring data for State of Vermont and LaRosa partners through community science – as well as the monitoring objectives, rely on a collaborative, partnership-based model. Each LPP partner has a unique understanding of their watershed, and we rely on the partners to offer this insight and their individual goals and research questions that fit underneath the umbrella of the broader LPP monitoring categories.
The data collected is mutually beneficial to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and provides meaningful information that is used to achieve the Department’s water monitoring goals outlined in the Water Quality Monitoring Program Strategy. The LPP aims to better characterize and fill in data gaps for the water chemistry component of stream health. The LPP focuses on four monitoring categories with the following objectives: identifying potentially high quality waters; sampling lake tributaries that may be contributing to phosphorus loading in lakes; identifying stressed or impaired waters and refining the extent and/or source of the stressor; and evaluating the effectiveness of BMPs or other remediation efforts.
In 2020, the LPP underwent a program redesign aimed to increase both the efficiency of administering as well as participating in the program, allowing us all to focus on what matters most – water quality monitoring. The official announcement and a summary of the program changes can be found in this letter.
To learn more about the LPP monitoring site nomination and selection process, read the Site Selection Process, Criteria, and Instructions document.
- Monitoring Site Details Report- an IWIS database report where you can view and export LaRosa monitoring site names and details by organization. The sites are listed under the new naming conventions introduced with the 2021 program redesign.
- Water Chemistry Data Report- an IWIS database report where you can query watershed associations' data by site and export it. This data has been thoroughly reviewed.
- Vermont Integrated Watershed Information System (IWIS)- The VTDEC-Watershed Management Divison's online data portal for water quality information. Here you can access water quality and chemistry testing information from all of Vermont, including LPP data. You can access LPP data by using the site search function to query a water body or specific monitoring site.
- VT ANR Atlas- mapping tool with over 150 different layers from across the department, including water quality monitoring site location data.
- US EPA Generic QAPP Outline - Quality Assurance Project Proposal; yearly submission is required by all LPP partners.
- Quality Control On-Site Visit Checklist - Suggested list of items to have on your on-site visit checklist.
- LaRosa Organizational Support Grant Templates:
VAEL Website - VAEL provides analytical services to the LaRosa Partnership Program via the LaRosa Analytical Services Grant.
Vermont Technical College Map with VAEL Location (163 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, VT 05061)
Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) - Online system to manage and submit bottle orders to VAEL.
- Instructions to place bottle orders in LIMS
- Instructions to download data/reports in LIMS
- Lab Tests and Fees for 2021
Chloride levels are on the rise in Vermont's waters. Read our explanation of the when, where, why of chloride monitoring.
2021 Annual Partner Training slideshow presentation
The Addison County River Watch Collaborative has created this video to demonstrate proper water quality sampling techniques:
Video demonstration of the total nitrogen sample acidification
- Example flow observation photos. Important reference for identifying flow level and flow category during sampling.
- LPP flow submission form for reporting flow level and flow type observations. Submit to Meaghan biweekly for each sample site during the monitoring season.
- USGS Current Water Data for VT website for accessing real time data and graphs of flow conditions for gauged streams in Vermont.
Current 2019 LaRosa Partners:
Addison County River Watch Collaborative
Black River Action Team
Connecticut River Conservancy
Deerfield River Watershed Association
Four Rivers Winooski Partnership
Franklin County NRCD
Franklin Watershed Committee
Friends of the Mad River
Friends of the Winooski/Winooski Headwaters Partnership
Lake Iroquois Association
Lake Morey Commission
Missisquoi River Basin Association
Orleans County NRCD/Memphremagog Watershed Association
Ottauquechee River Group
Poultney Mettowee Watershed Partnership
Rethink Runoff Stream Team
Seymour Lake Association
South Chittenden River Watch/ LaPlatte Watershed Partnership
Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA)
Upper Otter Creek Watershed Council
Upper Winooski Joint Conservation Commissions
White River Partnership
Williston Conservation Commission
Past LaRosa partners:
Burke Conservation Commission
Calais Conservation Commission
Essex Waterways Association
Friends of Northern Lake Champlain
Lake Iroquois Tributary Monitoring Program
Lake Rescue Association
Northwoods Stewardship Center
Norwich Conservation Commission
Ompompanoosuc Watershed Council/White River NRCD
Rock River-Friends of the Missisquoi Bay
St Albans Bay Association
Huntington River Conservation Partnership
Stevens River Watershed Council
Reports are written by LaRosa partners at the end of each sampling season.
Addison County River Watch Collaborative: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
Black River Action Team: 2017 | 2016 | 2014 | 2013
Burke Conservation Commission: 2015
Calais Conservation Commission: 2005
Connecticut River Conservancy: 2017 | 2014
Essex Waterways Association: 2006
Four Rivers Winooski Partnership: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013
Franklin NRCD: 2018
Franklin Watershed Committee: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
Friends of Mad River: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008
Friends of Northern Lake Champlain: 2015
Huntington River Conservation Partnership: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2006 | 2004
Lake Iroquois Tributary Monitoring Program: 2018 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Lake Rescue Association: 2008
LaPlatte Watershed Partnership: 2018 | 2017
LaPlatte Watershed: 2012 | 2011 | 2004-2010
Thorp Brook, Kimball Brook, Holmes Creek Watershed: 2013 | 2011
McCabes Brook: 2014-2015
LaPlatte River: 2014-2015 | 2013
Thorp Brook Kimball Brook: 2014-2015
Memphremagog Watershed Association: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008
Missisquoi River Basin Association: 2018 | 2015-2017 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008
Northwoods Stewardship Center: 2006
Ompompanoosuc Watershed Council: 2015 | 2007 | 2006
Ottaquechee River Group: 2017 | 2010-2015 | 2010
Poultney Mettowee Watershed Partnership: 2018 | 2016 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004
Rethink Runoff Stream Team: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012
Seymour Lake Association: 2009 | 2008
Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
2008 | 2007 | 2006
Stevens River Watershed Council: 2007 | 2005
Upper Otter Creek Watershed Council: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2010 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004
White River Partnership: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007
Williston Conservation Commission (Allen Brook): 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2007-2014 | 2007-2010
Winooski Headwaters Partnership: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007
- Vermont Assessment Page with Lists of Impaired and Priority Waters
- Vermont Surface Water Assessment and Listing Methodology
- Vermont Surface Water Management Strategy
- Vermont Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide
- EPA's “Volunteer Monitor's Guide to Quality Assurance Project Plans”
- US Geological Survey StreamStats
- WikiWatershed: Freshwater Stewardship Web tools
- Real Statistics using Excel