Question: Is there a water quality equivalent of Smoke School, the EPA air pollution observer certification?

warren is asking a question about timelapse
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by warren | September 16, 2016 20:19 | #13456

What I want to do or know

Folks have been really interested in monitoring water quality visually -- through photos or direct visual observing. @liz and @mathew posted some resources on Smoke School (#smoke-school):

Mathew: Is visual observation effective means of reporting air pollution to the EPA? have their been successes using the EPA visual assessment standards? @gretchengehrke found a 1993 EPA guide to visual assessment of emissions: and a quick one-pager on stop-watch based fugitive emissions reporting:

Liz: have you ever heard of Smoke School? It's training that observers can get that the EPA will respond to:

I believe that's called Method 9 (and related methods).

I'm curious (reposting this note from the water quality list) -- is there any equivalent method for people to visually observe and report water quality issues, like visible contamination or plumes, to the EPA?

@pdhixenbaugh mentioned some on that thread -- would you mind adding those in here as a resource? Thanks!


NOAA and Coast Guard made this guide "Job Aid" to observing oil slicks from the air. It's state of the art for government.

OWJA 2012

Here's some write up of the method with a helpful form!

This would be useful for oil slicks from the ground, just for the terminology. often it's difficult to see the extent of spills from up close, though, which is why govt usually will send up a heli during oil response for larger spills.

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