Water Quality Monitoring

Become a volunteer and act as our eyes and ears by checking for pollution in streams near your home, school, or office. Our volunteers are individuals, families, teachers and students that live and work in Baltimore’s watersheds and are concerned about the health of their neighborhood streams.

Pollution Identification 101

Pollution not only harms our environment, it also threatens the health of our citizens and the vitality of Baltimore’s local economy.

Learn what kinds of pollutants are entering our streams and Baltimore Harbor, how they are getting there in the first place, and what you can do to fight it. Participants will learn how to identify illicit discharges, who to report pollution to, and how to engage their community in restoration events.

Attending this training will make you eligible to participate in Outfall Screening Blitz events.

The Harbor Alert is an interactive map that tracks water quality throughout Baltimore’s watersheds in near real-time.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact our Water Quality Manager, Alice Volpitta, at [email protected]

Healthy Harbor Report Card

The Healthy Harbor Report Card is produced by Blue Water Baltimore in partnership with Waterfront Partnership, to raise public awareness about the stat of our waterways. This comprehensive report examines the Baltimore region’s water quality, including determining pollution impacts and how they affect the environment’s ecological and human health components.


A volunteer tests an outfall for pollution during our Outfall Screening Blitz Photo credit: Neil Dampier 

Outfall Screening Blitz Events

Volunteers are our biggest asset in finding and reporting pollution throughout the entire Patapsco River watershed.

Our trained volunteers and staff walk through sections of targeted Baltimore waterways in order to find and report illicit dry-weather discharges that enter the stream from the stormwater outfall system. Participants in the Outfall Screening Blitz:

  • Participate in Classroom and Field-based Training

  • Collect Water Quality Samples at Outfalls

  • Perform Laboratory Tests on the Samples

Illicit discharges can originate from a number of different sources including broken sewer lines leaking into stormwater pipes, broken drinking water pipes, and illegal connections from commercial or residential properties. Stormwater outfalls discharge this pollution directly into our local rivers and streams, completely unfiltered and untreated.