This Black Friday, we are looking for volunteers to #OptOutside as part of REI’s efforts to celebrate the outdoors and its benefits! We’re hosting a “Blue Friday” Water Sampling event where volunteers will collect samples from 1 of our 14 Emerging Contaminants Monitoring Sites. Samples for this project can be collected anytime on Friday, November 24.

An emerging contaminant is anything in our rivers and lakes that we don’t typically monitor but could adversely impact the health of our water and the human and aquatic life that depends on it. Samples collected for this project will be analyzed for over 60 compounds including prescription drugs, antibiotics, herbicides, personal care products, and even vanilla and cinnamon.

Emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting compounds, and recreational drugs often enter our rivers and lakes through treated wastewater. While we treat our wastewater for many different harmful substances and microbes, most of our water treatment facilities and techniques were not developed with these new and different compounds in mind. That means, what you decide to consume or even put down your kitchen sink will eventually make its way into Lake Michigan!

Milwaukee Riverkeeper is working in partnership withCarroll University, theUrban Ecology Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’sSchool of Freshwater SciencesandSchool of Public Healthto study these emerging contaminants in our Milwaukee River Basin for a second consecutive year.

Volunteers will go to their appointed sampling site to fill a 500 mL sample bottle with water, and researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School’s of Freshwater Sciences and School of Public Health will test the samples for emerging contaminants.

Where are the sampling sites?

We’ll collect water samples from 14 locations throughout the Milwaukee River Basin. When volunteers sign up, they will have the opportunity to select the site(s) they would like to monitor.

Sign up for any one of the 14 emerging contaminant sites by selecting one of the icons below. We can only accommodate one monitor at each location. A blue icon indicates an open site, where a red icon indicates the site has been selected by another monitor.

Project Partners:

urban ecology center logo
school of freshwater sciences
Carroll University
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health