Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center at UMass Amherst

Information for Volunteers

Project Title: 
Acid Rain Monitoring Project

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SAVE THAT DATE!  The next ARM sampling event is Sunday, April 6, 2014

Site Directions

Stream Lists, with site location directions are available in pdf map files below:

Sampling Directions

  • If sampling by a bridge, try to collect sample upstream of the bridge.
  • If you can do so safely, wade into stream, walking upstream. Take sample upstream of your body. For lakes, sample at dam or shore.
  • Uncap bottle, fill it partly, cover with cap, shake to rinse inside bottle and cap, and empty behind you.
  • Repeat twice (rinse 3 times)
  • Then completely immerse bottle in water, let it fill completely, and cap under water.
  • Put in cooler with ice or frozen ice pack.
  • Fill out field data sheet with your name, date and time of sampling, and samples taken.
  • Deliver to lab and sign bottom of field data sheet at that time.

Downloadable Forms and Letters

Collector Data Sheet/Chain of Custody Sheet

2014 Volunteer Letter for Landowners

Laboratories

Analysis Method for pH and alkalinity - Care and maintenance of electrodes

Barnstable County

Contact: Holly Bailey
Phone Number: (508) 487-3262 x 0502
Address:
Cape Cod National Sea Shore
99 Marconi Site Rd.
South Wellfleet, MA

Bristol County

Contact: Robert Caron
Phone Number: (508) 636-4524
Address:
777 Elsbree Street
E-Building 206
Bristol Community College
Fall River, MA
Directions:
Route 6 north to rotary. Go West on Presidents Ave. then turn Right at light onto Ellsbree St. Turn Right into first B.C.C. driveway, follow straight towards rear of campus and bear left at end. Look for building E across driveway (second from last). Pull up on sidewalk to service door.

Essex County

Contact: Joseph Ciccotelli or Phil McCarthy
Phone Number: (978) 356-6639
Address:
Ipswich Water Treatment Plant
274 High St
Ipswich, MA 01938
Drop-off times: after 7AM Monday April 7th, 2014

Franklin County

Contact: Beckie Finn
Phone Number: (413) 545.5979
Directions:
Drop off at McCusker's Market, Shelburne Falls between 11AM and 12PM on Sunday, or at Françoise' house in Greenfield (63 Washington St, Greenfield, MA) if the McCusker's time frame is inconvenient.
Drop-off times: Sunday April 6, 2014

Hampshire/Franklin Counties

Contact: Beckie Finn
Phone Number: (413) 545-5979
Address:
5 Goessman Hall
UMASS
Amherst, MA 01003
Map of campus
Drop off Times: before 5pm Sunday April 6, 2014. There will be a cooler outside of the lab. 

Southern Hampshire and part of Worcester County

Contact: Sherrie Sunter
Phone Number: (413) 323-6921 ext. 406
Address:
MWRA Quabbin Lab
485 Ware Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Directions:
Route 9 to 485 Ware Road. Brick building. Go to front door. Lab is upstairs.
Drop off times: By 1pm Sunday April 6, 2014

Hampden/Berkshire Counties

Contact: Dr. David Christensen
Phone Number: (413) 572-5373
Address:
Wilson Hall Rm 213A
Westfield State College
577 Western Ave.
Westfield, MA
Directions:
Travel Massachusetts Turnpike to Exit 3 (Westfield) Bear right after tollgate onto Route 202. Follow Route 202 straight until you reach the rotary in the center of Westfield. Enter rotary and take your first right onto Court Street. Follow straight approximately two miles. The college will be on your right hand side.
Drop off times: Wilson Hall room 213A, Westfield State College - By 3pm Sunday April 6, 2014

Middlesex County

Contact: Carmen DeFillippo
Phone Number: (978) 433-9859
Address:
47 Nashua Rd.
PO Box 319
Pepperell, MA
Directions:
In Pepperell, follow Rte 111 North after split from Rte 122 for about 1 1/4 mile or less. Sign for WWTP on right. Follow road to end, cross at four way stop and enter driveway. Lab is in building straight ahead.
Drop off times: 7:30 - 10:30am Sunday, April 6, 2014

Norfolk County

Contact: Dorothy Scotten
Phone Number: (978) 273-8398
Address:
50 Drummer Road
Acton, MA 01720
Directions:
From Rte 62 (Powder Mill Rd in Acton), take High Street (Rite Aid Pharmacy near the intersection). Follow High Street to Parker Street. Turn right onto Parker Street. Follow Parker Street until you see Drummer Road on your right. It takes you into a condominium complex. Roughly half way around the circle on the left hand side will be 50 Drummer Road. Call to confirm drop-off time.

Plymouth County

Contact: Bob Bentley and Jim Hoberg
Phone Number: Bentley: (508) 946-2225 Hoberg: (508) 295-2550
Analytical Balance Lab
Plymouth, MA

Worcester North

Contact: David Bennett and Michelle Salvucci
Phone Number: (978) 827-7065 (978-827-7063 home)
Address:
Cushing Academy
Joseph R. Curry Academic Center
Ashburnham, MA 01430
Directions:
Please deliver your samples to: Room 105, Joseph Curry Academic Center, which is the first building on the left on Academy Street.
Drop-off Times: 12-3pm (if earlier, there will be a tub outside the lab door) Sunday April 6, 2014

Worcester South

Contact: Jim Bonofiglio
Phone Number: (508) 799-1513
Address:
71 Stonehouse Hill Rd.
Holden, MA

Directions

Take MassPike West to exit 10 (Auburn). After the toll, stay in the left lane and take Rt. 290 East to exit 17 (Rt. 9). Turn left at end of ramp. This is Belmont St., which changes to Highland at the 2nd light. Go straight through 7 sets of lights, you will come to a rotary. Follow signs for the Worcester Airport (2nd right out of rotary, Pleasant St.) At 3rd set of lights turn right onto Mower St., go 0.2 miles and bear right at the fork onto Olean St. Travel 1.2 miles and plant entrance is on right. Take the FIRST left to the treatment plant.
Drop-off times: by 2pm Sunday April 6, 2014

Lake and Stream Sensitivity Explained

How aquatic environments respond to acid deposition depends on their sensitivity to acids and the quantity of acids received. Most environments are naturally buffered against acid input by neutralizing materials such as limestone. If sufficient buffering capacity exists in an environment, excessive acid input does not change the pH of the water, although it will progressively deplete its acid neutralizing capacity (ANC). The soils, bedrock, and vegetation of watersheds largely determine the capacity of aquatic resources to accommodate acid deposition, but other factors play an important role. Acid neutralizing capacity can have its full effect only when the incoming precipitation has sufficient contact time with the neutralizing material. Areas with steep slopes, shallow soils or frozen ground tend to minimize contact time, resulting in incomplete neutralization of water entering lakes and streams. Additional neutralization is provided by the biota. For example, algae generate buffering materials during photosynthesis, and microbes living in bottom sediments reduce sulfur compounds to inert forms.ANC and pH interact in an unusual way: as acid is added to a buffered system, pH changes little until the ANC approaches zero. Then, small additions of acid cause large changes in pH. Finally, pH drops precipitously and permanently to levels that few aquatic organisms can tolerate.

With lower pH, levels of toxic metals leached from the watershed increase, aquatic growth is reduced, and sensitive species ranging from fish to algae disappear. If this occurs in a drinking water supply, metals will dissolve from distribution pipes resulting in high levels of iron, copper, lead and other metals.

Sensitivity Categories
Category Acid Neutralizing Capacity (mg/l)
Acidified ≤0 and pH≤5.0
Critical 0 - 2 or <0 and pH≥5.0
Endangered 2 - 5
Highly Sensitive 5 - 10
Sensitive 10 - 20
Not Sensitive >20