Water Quality Monitoring Resources

These resources written or compiled by Minnesota Waters staff, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and other oversight and research organizations are a good starting point for individuals and groups interested in water quality monitoring and data use. 

To view and download these resources, publications and links, visit the Resources/Water Quality Monitoring page in the Star Member Section of our website.

Water Quality Monitoring Manuals

  • Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Manual: A Guidance Manual for Stream Water Quality Monitoring By Minnesota Waters
  • Minnesota Waters We Have Water Quality Data, Now What? By Minnesota Waters
  • Design Your Monitoring Plan Manual by Minnesota Waters
  • Volunteer Stream Monitoring: A Methods Manual by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide By the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
    For more information or a CD copy, please contact Pat Engelking at 651-297-3847 or Pam Skon at 651-296-8544.

Websites to Access Water Quality Data and Flow Data

  • MPCA Environmental Data Access
    Search and download water quality data on lakes and streams in Minnesota.
  • USGS Flow Data
    Look up real time data on river stage levels, flow and other information if available. Historic water data can also be downloaded from this site.
  • RMB Environmental Labs
    Use the Lakes Monitoring Database to search and download reports, graphs and lake data from lakes around the state.
  • Minnesota DNR Lake Finder
    The Lake Finder contains data for more than 4,500 lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota. Get lake surveys, lake depth maps, lake water quality data and lake water clarity data (from the Pollution Control Agency), satellite-based water clarity information (from the University of Minnesota), lake notes, and fish consumption advice (from the Department of Health).
    EPA computerized environmental data system. STORET (STOrage and RETrieval, a repository for water quality, biological and physical data, is used by state environmental agencies, EPA and other federal agencies, universities and private citizens.
  • National Water Quality Assessment Database
    The EPA Office of Water has released this interactive database of state water quality assessment data (for 2002), to provide easy public online access to state and local water quality information.
  • Minnesota Climatology Working Group
    A variety of climatology information which can be useful in interpreting water quality results.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

  • Building Credibility: Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Volunteer Monitoring Programs
    14 page factsheet from the USDA CSREES

Benchmarks for Assessing Minnesota Data

  • Guidance Manual For Assessing the Quality of Minnesota Surface Waters for the Determination of Impairment
    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Guide to Typical Minnesota Water Quality Conditions
    Typical Water Quality Conditions in Minnesota's Ecoregions-Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Presentation Tips for Monitoring Data

Taking Action Tools

Water Monitoring Equipment and Supply Sources