Project River Keepers


Introduction | Invitation | Exploration | Explanation | Taking Action | Conclusion


Project River Keepers is a collaborative project designed to help you investigate the quality of the water in a main river near your community. In the investigation you will be trying to assess the health of this river, and how this impacts the quality of the water that you drink and use for living.


  • To locate the source of the water you drink.
  • To identify the watershed in your community
  • To assess the quality of the water in your community and collaborate with others on the Net to compare water quality in different part of the country.


  • Material you will need: computer with Internet access; thermometer, pH paper, Chemetrics dissolved oxygen ampoules, jars to collect water.


Where does the water that you drink come from? Go to the EPA website where you can use EPA's map and location tools ( to not only locate the source of water, but also find out about the quality of the water in your region. What did you find out? What questions do you have?


Use maps and your knowledge of your community to identify the main river running through or near your community. Arrange to visit the river, or have someone bring samples of water to class that can be observed and analyzed.

For each water sample determine the following and post your data in the CLEO Project River Keepers Data Table ( This is a site where you will find Project River Keepers. You will need to register (its free!) when you get to CLEO and join Project River Keepers. At the site you will find procedures for doing your research and Table where you will enter the data you collect on your water samples.

You will need to provide the following data: Name of your river (or water source), name of your school, date, latitude and longitude of the collection site, air temperature, water temperature, pH of the water, dissolved oxygen level in ppm (using the ampoule method), flow of the water in meters/sec., odor and appearance of the water. You should also describe the site, which you can do in the analysis part of the CLEO web site.


Discuss and reflect on your findings, data, and analyses. You should re-visit the CLEO site to see what others found, to compare your ideas to other students'. At the CLEO site tell others what conclusions you have drawn about the quality of the water in the river you investigated. What are some other sources of data that might help you expand your study and help others in the community understand the present state of your water supply.

Taking Action

Thousands of people are working to protect and restore their watersheds. As of November 12, 1998, this database contains 4,286 groups that you might want to join. To encourage stewardship of the nation's water resources and to celebrate 25 years of progress under the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is leading an "Adopt Your Watershed" campaign. Through this effort, EPA challenges citizen and organizations to join us and others who are working to protect and restore our valuable rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes, ground water, and estuaries.

Go to the "Adopt a Watershed" Web site at Explore the site and see how you can make a difference.


This project should enable to develop the knowledge and action skills necessary to take action of an important science-related social issue. Through the activity it is hoped that you came in contact with others around the country who also are interested in working toward improving the watersheds in your region.

Contact: Jack Hassard for questions or comments.