The Saco River Basin covers approximately 1,700 square miles (552,000 acres) in Eastern New Hampshire and 837 (536,000 acres) in southern Maine.
In 2001, the Commission initiated a volunteer water quality monitoring program, with 30 volunteers, conducting biweekly monitoring and thousands of individual tests to maintain minimum water quality. This information is important because people drink the Saco River’s water. Consistently, the Commission’s water quality program stretches into New Hampshire in cooperation with the Green Mountain Conservation Group and the Regional Interstate Volunteers for the Ecosystems and Rivers of the Saco “RIVERS.”
RIVERS volunteers and staff performed about 4,000 individual water quality tests this year. Sampling in Maine includes temperature, specific conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, alkalinity, E. coli, forms of nitrogen, phosphorous, ammonium, and orthophosphate. Testing at each site considers adjacent and upstream land uses, including testing for E. coli at all known swimming beaches, phosphorous and orthophosphate downstream of large-scale agricultural uses, and ammonium downstream of wastewater management systems.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact the office for more information.