Love your Water


This webpage is part of the legacy website for the Source to Tap Project, supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). This project has now come to an end and this site should be used for reference only.

Citizen Scientists are members of the public who collect data that contributes to our better understanding of the changing world around us.

Water quality is constantly changing and frequent monitoring by trained members of the public can help detect pollution impacts on our rivers and streams early and help target the improvements required to protect water quality.

The freshwater insects (also known as macro-invertebrates) that live in our rivers are a good barometer of water quality. In a river with good water quality, we expect to see a good range of species (types) of water insects, from pollution-sensitive stoneflies and mayflies to less sensitive freshwater shrimp and leeches. As water quality gets poorer, the range of water insect species decreases, as the ones most sensitive to pollution are no longer able to survive in the polluted water.

By frequently checking the number and types of insects at a particular spot in a river, water quality trends can be monitored, and pollution can be spotted quickly. This is called ‘riverfly sampling’.

In partnership with The Riverfly Partnership, Source to Tap has produced a range of useful ‘How-to’ guides to help you plan and establish a Riverfly Monitoring Group, get everyone trained in the riverfly sampling methodology and then set up your monitoring site network and report your results.

The methodology described is called the Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI), but you do not have to be an angler to be trained, use the methodology, or take part!

Guide 1 provides and introduction to the ARMI Methodology and how to set up Monitoring Groups and Hubs

Guide 2 explains how to select & register Monitoring Sites and introduces the ARMI Data Base and the protocol for reporting Trigger Level breaches

Guide 3 explores biosecurity, kick sampling and health and safety

Further information about the Anglers Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) can be found on The Riverfly Partnership website

There are many other citizen science programme and methodologies available for monitoring rivers and the freshwater environment. We have compiled some of these in summary guides for you to further explore yourself.