Ambient River Monitoring

DEM's Ambient River Monitoring

DEM's Ambient River Monitoring (ARM) Program conducts monitoring during the seasonal period of late spring to early fall. Water quality samples are collected for chemical and pathogen lab analysis. Additional physical data is measured during field visits. It is implemented as a key component of DEM’s rotating basin strategy for monitoring wadeable rivers and streams. All samples are taken in accordance with a USEPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan.

In the ARM program, monitoring occurs at approximately 60 targeted stations per year in selected watersheds using protocols specified in the program’s quality assurance program plan (QAPP) which includes a list of water quality parameters associated with the program.

The data RIDEM collects is used to characterize general river and stream conditions, identify pollution problems and their causes, support development of water quality restoration plans (known as TMDLs), and contribute to environmental management and decision-making.

Persons interested in the data generated from this program may contact Jane Sawyers at or (401)-222-4700 ext. 2777239.

Colorful map of Rhode Island that shows locations of watershed monitoring activities

In 2023, the Scituate, Pawtuxet, Upper Moosup (drains to CT), and Five Mile (drains to CT) watersheds will be targeted for sampling bacteria and water chemistry. The stations selected are pictured.