In 1980, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized that organizations, municipalities, and state and federal agencies lacked data to make informed decisions relevant to the nation's waters. The EPA therefore developed protocols for use in the monitoring and bioassessment of our extensive unevaluated waterways. As outlined in the EPA's Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Wadeable Streams and Rivers, the protocols require:

  • Cost-effective, yet scientifically valid, procedures for biological surveys
  • Provisions for multiple site investigations in a field season
  • Quick turnaround of results for management decisions
  • Scientific reports easily translated to management and the public
  • Environmentally-benign procedures


Watershed Assessment Associates (WAA) utilizes protocols developed by both the EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Stream Biomonitoring Unit. These protocols in conjunction with our own Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) ensures that a comprehensive and accurate scientific water quality assessment is obtained based on properly identified resident benthic macroinvertebrates. These reports are useful to municipalities, planning boards, state and federal agencies, corporations, environmental organizations, and the public by providing invaluable information for priority setting, point and non-point source evaluations, use attainability analyses, and trend monitoring, as well as initial water quality assessment screening.

Key Benefits of a Rapid Watershed Assessment:

  • Enhances the coverage of broad geographical assessments, such as State and National 305(b) Water Quality Inventories
  • Characterizes the existence and severity of impairment, if any to the water resource
  • Helps to identify sources and causes of impairment
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of control actions and restoration activities
  • Supports use attainability studies and cumulative impact assessments
  • Characterizes regional biotic attributes of reference conditions
  • Provides a means to assess the effectiveness of a municipality's storm water management program (MS4)


Reference Accounts



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