Water quality

Stormwater management is important because of the impact of it has on receiving waters, including the ponds in Roger William Park, which have been identified as being impaired (RIDEM 2007). Establishing a water quality monitoring program to assess ambient conditions in the pond system will allow documentation of impacts from ongoing restoration efforts and confirm the benefits of green infrastructure as a strategy in stormwater management.

Discreet Water Quality Sampling

The Providence Stormwater Innovation Center will partner with established programs at Univeristy of Rhode Island by participating in the Watershed Watch program, a scientist-led volunteer water quality monitoring program, and working with the Watershed Hydrology lab.

Project partners have identified 6 pond sites which will be monitored through Watershed Watch by participatory scientists from the local community.  Water sample collection by volunteers and Providence Stormwater Innovation Center staff for baseline data will occur from May through October in 2020, and May through October in 2021.  Monitoring is expected to be conducted according to the standard URIWW Lake and Ponds monitoring schedule, except for encouraging volunteers to complete more intensive weekly DO measurements. That modification may better account for storm-water impacts in this urbanized watershed. 

Watershed Watch Site Maps.jpg

Citizen scientists will sample weekly for dissolved oxygen and temperature, bi-weekly for chlorophyll-a, and 3 times per year for nutrients, bacteria, alkalinity, and pH (see below table).


To participate as a citizen scientist, fill out and submit your information at the following url:



Continuous Water Quality Monitoring


Time dense data and information improves our understanding of hydrology and water quality and can lead to more effective resource managementContinuous monitoring of water quality data captures seasonal, diurnal, and event driven fluctations within a water system.  Continuous water quality data also improves concentration and load estimates.

The Providence Stormwater Innovation Center in partnership with URI and UNH will be doing continuous monitoring at the inflow and outflow sites for Nitrate, Phosphate, Total Phosphate, Fluorescent dissolved organic matter, temeprature, specific conductance, pH, and dissolved oxygen.  This 5-minute data will be couple with continuous discharge (streamflow) data to calculate load estimates for each water quality parameter.