Step 1: Choose a sample location

Where: On the water! Choose a spot you’d like to monitor and that you think you can return to later. Site locations could be based on interesting findings, set protocols by an organization, or just because you think it’s great. Use this opportunity to try and improve an area over time. Record details, pick up trash and plan to revitalize shorelines.

Describe shoreline conditions and waterway conditions: Is it a sandy beach, or rocky? Record in location details how you’re able to access to this spot. Any details you add will help you and others revisit and retest, and visit safely.

Location suggestions

  • Deepest point of the lake
  • Center in a river channel
  • Entrance or exit of a stream into another waterbody
  • Near a suspected pollution source
  • Off the dock (same corner)
  • On the beach (reference spot by landmarks)
  • Existing sample locations that follow the same testing protocol.

Ask an expert: Tips on taking good samples

Melanie Dodd-Moher from Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority  (3:19)

 Choosing a sample spot (0:51)