CCPaSEC logoCentre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps

at ClearWater Conservancy


The key water monitoring parameters, like flow rate, pH, nitrates, macros, etc, have been identified for water quality purposes from earlier DEP and EASI direction. Thus, accurate and precise information is the goal for the CCPaSEC quality control (QC) program. Consistent water processing and complete water information is the QC objective here. The CCPaSEC data needs to be backed by a level of confidence so as to be useful for possible studies and decision making. The procedure is to measure, analyze, and record the data for Centre County and to support the results of this data with outside lab testing.

There are several parts of the QC program:

  • Understanding - to teach the various tests to the members, so people develop knowledge of the process and the analytical capabilities
  • Competence - to properly follow the documented monitoring guidelines, achieving accurate and consistent results
  • Documentation - to manage and record the monitoring data for future interests

The quality control checks and measures are separated into two areas. The ‘internal' checks are done by members of the CCPaSEC quality control team. Samples are obtained along-side the regular team and analyzed at the same time. All work is done in the field. The ‘external' checks involve labs and technicians outside the CCPaSEC program. A control lab performs duplicate testing in the lab on split samples from the team's field operation. Since the labs do this type of work frequently, it is assumed that the lab results are ‘more correct' when comparing final numbers. Low variation is the targeted outcome.

There are several benefits to be realized with the program. When appropriate, the team can make decisions and can take actions with confidence, based on their discovered data. Improved process discipline can result in less time to perform the field testing and in fewer repeated analyses due to questionable first-time results. Quality assurance results in a more-likely increased use of the information by others.

CCPaSEC has established a Stream Problem Reporting Protocol to be followed by all teams when physical characteristics of the stream site, chemical parameters analyses or macroinvertebrate surveys detect findings of concern (out of the usual, not normal, or out of meter ranges). The protocol is available through the lnk below:

CCPaSEC Stream Problem Reporting Protocol.pdf (195 kb) July 2019

The Red Cross has developed several mobile apps which may help when faced with an emergency situation during a monitoring event. These app descriptions and links to their download pages can be found at The downloads can be done through the Apple Apps Store and Google Play.

Ticks: As the number of ticks continues to climb in Pennsylvania, residents of Pennsylvania can send any ticks they have encountered to a tick lab to have the tick identified and also find out if the tick is infected with Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever for no charge. The lab will identify the tick for more infections for a fee. Fill out a form from the tick lab web site, place the tick in a plastic zip-lock bag and mail it by US mail. The results will come back in a week or so. The Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania web site is:


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