Water Sentinels


Water Sentinels: Volunteers Keeping an Eye on Our Water

Sierra Club's Water Sentinels are volunteers in communities across the state who regularly test their local rivers, lakes, and streams for pollution. When we find problems, we use the data we collect to call attention to them, and to devise solutions. When we find good water quality, we know we've found a resource worth protecting, and we work with local communities to ensure that clean water continues for the future.


What our groups are doing:

Every quarter the Valley of the Fox Group monitors tributaries to Fox River in Kane and Kendall counties for nutrient pollution (phosphates and nitrates) as well as pH and conductivity (a measure of the salts in the water).

Our River Prairie Group routinely checks the levels of four chemical compounds (phosphate, nitrate, ammonia, chloride), temperature, pH, and in some areas, dissolved oxygen, radioactive isotopes, and mercury in streams in DuPage County.

Eagle View Group Water Sentinels use four main indicators to determine stream health (dissolved oxygen, nitrate and phosphate concentrations and turbidity estimated as total suspended solids) in the Rock River watershed near the Quad Cities in Rock Island County.


Other Water Sentinels Teams:

P Teams: Two-person teams of Sierra Club members test streams for phosphorus pollution. Teams can do testing on their own schedule, visiting streams throughout their area.

Mine Monitors: Water Sentinels who live near coal mines monitor streams for mine-related pollution by testing pH and conductivity.


How can I help?
If you are interested in learning more about or joining in our Water Sentinels activities, contact:

Cindy Skrukrud at cindy.skrukrud@sierraclub.org 312-251-1680 x110

Volunteer Leader:

Fran Caffee at fran.caffee@illinois.sierraclub.org