The Citizen Scientist Program is a collaboration between the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and GC Resolve. Other participants include various High School Science and FFA Students, various organizations, and dozens of volunteer Citizen Scientists.
The reason we are testing private wells on farms is to give an opportunity for farm families and rural residents to increase awareness about rising contaminants in Eastern Nebraska, and to help improve their health by identifying potential contamination in drinking water supplies from excess nutrients.
How Does The Program Work?
The University of Nebraska Department of Civil Engineering will provide all testing materials to volunteers. Volunteers will measure the concentrations of key nutrients, nitrates, nitrites, and phosphates, using rapid test strips that provide accurate and reliable results in less than 1 minute. All volunteers will receive training (30 minutes) to ensure that they are comfortable with the tools provided.
The information that you collect will be sent to the University of Nebraska, by either mail or email, for analysis. Expert faculty and staff will answer questions and provide feedback to you on the levels of plant nutrients in the water that you tested. As a Citizen Scientist, you will be kept informed about the results of this program and alerted to future opportunities to improve your water resources.
When Will We Be Testing Next?
We are looking for volunteers to help with the Spring 2020 testing period. We are also looking for volunteers who can test water samples throughout the entire year.
2020 Testing Dates Will Be May 1st – 31st (Spring) and September 1st – 30th (Summer)
How to test for nitrates:
How to test for phosphates:
The entire state will be able to participate in the 2020 Citizen Scientist spring and summer testing sessions. If you were a Citizen Scientist in the past you are eligible to test again for free. Additional tests can be provided on request.