Collaborative Partnerships with Volunteer Groups and Homeowners

This database profiles surface water and groundwater quality from an approximately 3,000 square mile area in Central New York State, USA. Results are reported as raw data, maps, tables and interactive graphs and are available to the public free of charge. Surface water data are collected through long-term collaborative partnerships between CSI and committed groups of local volunteers.

Stream and Lake Partnerships: Volunteer groups in our SYNOPTIC monitoring partnerships collect stream and lake samples for extensive chemical analyses in our NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) certified testing lab in Ithaca, New York (NYSDOH-ELAP ID# 11790). Volunteer groups in our RED FLAG monitoring partnerships perform quality assured analyses on stream samples in the field using portable kits and employing quality controls including calibration standards, duplicate analyses and splitting samples with CSI's certified lab in Ithaca.

In addition to surface water quality, this database also reports on "fracking"-related groundwater quality in our region.

Regional groundwater baseline: CSI collaborated with private homeowners, the Institute for Health and the Environment at SUNY-Albany and the Otsego County Conservation Association to characterize water quality in groundwater wells in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions of New York State from 2009-2014. The purpose was to enable homeowners to detect contamination in the event that high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) ("fracking") for shale gas was permitted in New York and gas wells were drilled near their homes. Aggregation in this archive of some 20,000 results for over 250 private groundwater wells has resulted in the creation of a one-of-a-kind regional baseline of groundwater quality in Central New York and the Southern Tier as it relates to potential contamination from HVHHF.

This database may be searched by navigating to the data query interface for each section: Streams and Lakes Chemistry and Microbiology, and Regional Groundwater Baseline. Search results may be downloaded free of charge. We ask that data users acknowledge this database as their source using the following citation:

Become a CSI Volunteer Partner

Please consider partnering with CSI by joining one of our stream or lake monitoring groups as a volunteer. Training in watershed science, field observation and testing, and sample collection is provided by CSI staff. Our programs are conducted under a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). For more information about becoming a volunteer monitor, contact Grace Haynes, Outreach and Programs Coordinator, at 607-257-6606 or