The Farmington River in Sandisfield, MA

“Clean and safe water to drink, bathe and recreate in is paramount to human health and human spirit.”

We depend on our river to provide clean, safe water for drinking, recreation, and wildlife.  Meeting this basic need requires citizen action to complement the work of government agencies. FRWA staff and volunteers collect and record credible water quality data, and work with residents, towns and the state to maintain and improve water quality in our watershed.

FRWA’s Water Quality Monitoring Project was launched in 2004, after the release of the “State of the Watershed” report which analyzed water quality, impediments to flow, and other stressors on the river and its tributaries. The program assesses the health of the Farmington River by:

  • establishing a baseline of water quality information.
  • identifying long and short term changes in water quality and land use.
  • involving partners and educating residents of the Watershed.
Bacteria in the Farmington River

E.coli sampling occurs May through September throughout the Farmington River watershed. This includes Massachusetts, Upper River, and Lower River. You can view our E.Coli Reports or more information on Bacteria in the Farmington River. Bacteria data is updated weekly in the summer, and uploaded to Is it Clean?


In 2021 FRWA conducted a project to investigate cyanobacteria blooms in Rainbow Reservoir, a 240 acre impoundment on the Farmington River in Windsor to evaluate bloom occurrence, causative agents and remedial options. Limnologist, Dr. Kenneth Wagner, designed our study and directed the project. For more information on the project or cyanobacteria visit here.

Aquatic Insect Monitoring

Macroinvertebrate sampling typically occurs September through November. FRWA conducts macroinvertebrate sampling per CT DEEP RBV procedures. It is a great way to determine stream health. Every year there are volunteer opportunities for RBV. Learn more about Aquatic Insect Monitoring.

Water Temperature Monitoring

FRWA currently has 13 “HOBOs” or temperature loggers throughout the Farmington River Watershed. The body temperature of most stream organisms is the same as the surrounding water, and each species has a range of temperatures that it can tolerate.  Also, colder water holds more oxygen than warm water, a vital matter for oxygen-hungry species like trout. Thus water temperature helps determine which species thrive in a given reach of stream. Water Temperature Monitoring & Climate Change

Waste Water Monitoring

What Can You Do?