Information for Volunteers

Project Title: 
Acid Rain Monitoring Project

ARM Project Home | Info for Volunteers | Results

The last ARM sampling date was April 2, 2023!
The next sampling date is scheduled tentatively for Sunday, April 7, 2024

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer sampler, or if you have any questions about ARM, please contact the ARM statewide coordinator Emad Mady.

2022 ARM Site Map

Check out the map below to see which sites (indicated by the red symbols) still need volunteers for 2022.


Site Directions

ARM Site List

You can view the list above in your browser. It includes coordinates and map links for every site.

Site maps are also available in PDF format by county:

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

2019 Volunteer Letter for Landowners

2021 Laboratories

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

Barnstable County

Contact: Sophia Fox
Phone Number: 508-487-3262 ext 0504
Cape Cod National Sea Shore
99 Marconi Site Rd.
South Wellfleet, MA

Bristol County

Contact:  Mary Rapien
Phone Number: 401-525-1931 (Mary)
Bristol Community College
Building L, Room L-201
777 Elsbree Street
Fall River, MA 02720
Drop-off times: TO BE UPDATED SOON. Contact Mary or Kimberly if other arrangements need to be made.

Essex County

Contact: Joseph Ciccotelli or Phil McCarthy
Phone Number: (978) 356-6639
Ipswich Water Treatment Plant
274 High St
Ipswich, MA 01938
Drop-off times: after 7AM Monday April 9, 2018

Franklin County

Contact:  Cathy Wilkins
Phone Number: (413) 337-5717

7 Underwood Hill Rd
Heath, MA 01346
Drop-off times: Sunday April 7, 2019. Cooler will be left on porch. Alternatively, samples may be left at Françoise’s house in Greenfield: 63 Washington St, Greenfield, MA

Hampshire/Franklin Counties

Contact: Travis Drury
Phone Number: (413) 545-5979
5 Goessman Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
Directions from route 63
Map of campus
Drop off Times: 8am - 5pm Sunday April 7, 2019. There will be a cooler outside of the lab. 

Southern Hampshire and part of Worcester County

Contact: Mark Putnam
Phone Number: (413) 213-7922
MWRA Quabbin Lab
485 Ware Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Route 9 to 485 Ware Road. Brick building. Go to front door. Lab is upstairs.
Drop off Times: By 1pm Sunday April 7, 2019

Hampden/Berkshire Counties

Contact:  Dr. Dave Christensen
Phone Number: (413) 572-5373
Westfield State University
577 Western Ave
Ecology and Research Lab
Science and Innovation Building, Room 207
Westfield, MA 01086
Map of campus
Drop off times: 10am - 2pm Sunday April 7, 2019

Contact:  Sue Tower
Phone Number: (413) 537-6429  
Springfield Water and Sewer Commission 
1515 Granville Rd
Westfield, MA 01085
Volunteers should come through Gate #3, it will most likely be closed but there is an intercom by the gate. Once through the gate the first white large building on the left houses the lab and operations. There is a doorbell to the left of the main door. Lab is on the second floor. 
Drop off times: Preferably 12:30pm - 2:30pm on Sunday April 7, 2019, but staff will be available outside that time as well.

Norfolk County

Contact: Amy Johnston, UMass Boston
Phone Number: 207-557-0962
Drop-Off Location:
10 Curtis St, Unit 5
Quincy, MA 02169 
There will be a cooler left outside for the samples. 
Drop off Times: Sunday, April 7, 2019. Samples should be dropped off before late afternoon. The top left apartment all the way at the top of the left staircase. There will be a labeled cooler outside the door with a clipboard. For any questions, contact Amy at the number or email address above. 

Plymouth County

Contact: Bob Bentley and Jim Hoberg
Phone Number: Bentley: (508) 946-2225 Hoberg: (508) 295-2550
Analytical Balance Lab
422 W Grove St, F
Middleborough, MA 02346

Worcester North

Contact: David Bennett
Phone Number: (978) 827-7065 (978-827-7063 home)
Cushing Academy
39 School St
Joseph R. Curry Academic Center, Room 104
Ashburnham, MA 01430
Please deliver your samples to: Room 104, Joseph Curry Academic Center, which is the first building on the left on Academy Street.
Drop off Times: 12-4pm (if earlier, there will be a tub outside the lab door) Sunday April 7, 2019

Worcester South

Contact: Timothy Loftus
Phone Number: (508) 755-1286 ext.14
Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District
50 Route 20
Millbury, MA 01527
If using a GPS device, enter the address as 7 Nippnapp Trail, Millbury, MA. From Route 20, turn onto Nippnapp Trail and go through the gates. Take a right after the gates and follow sign to the administration building. 
Drop-off times: 7am-noon preferred on Sunday, April 7, 2019. Contact the lab prior to the sampling date if other times need to be arranged.

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