Your Watershed / Water Quality

Water Quality

Roaring Fork Valley residents are fortunate to live in an area that is dominated by high water quality. To ensure that it stays that way, and to locate the areas that need our help, RFC performs water quality testing and analysis throughout the watershed. 

Every year RFC conducts a variety of water quality monitoring and stream science field work throughout the Roaring Fork Watershed. Projects typically fall into two categories:  Baseline water quality monitoring used to develop long-term datasets, or targeted studies implemented to study a specific stream, parameter, or concern. 


Baseline Water Quality Monitoring with Colorado River Watch:
Working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife's River Watch Program, RFC's staff, Stream Team volunteers, and student-collected data contributes to a state-wide water quality database. With this information, coordinated management practices are implemented and specific water quality concerns are addressed. Using this data, RFC published the first State of the River Report in 2001 summarizing water quality around the watershed. A second report, the 2006 Water Quality Report, looked at the previous five years worth of data and identified areas of concern, including Cattle, Brush, and Fourmile Creeks, and the lower Crystal River.

RFC conducts many studies on the rivers and streams throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. Data collected by staff, River Watch or Stream Team volunteers provides a baseline data to the health of our waterways. Sometimes that data raises a flag or indicates a concern which requires a more in-depth study.

Local government officials and not-for-profits, such as conservation organizations, commission Roaring Fork Conservancy to conduct a study on a particular area of interest.


Current Studies:

Alpine Algae Monitoring
Cattle Creek Stream Health Evaluation

Historic Water Quality Studies

To learn more, become a volunteer in RFC's water quality monitoring program, or report a water quality concern, please contact Chad Rudow, RFC's Water Quality Program Manager, at (970) 927-1290.

What is it like to work with RFC's Water Quality Team?

“I would choose Roaring Fork Conservancy on my sampling crew any day of the week. They have integrity and are dedicated, experienced, meticulous, and practice the highest level of care when collecting water samples. In a recent collaborative partnership to investigate water quality issues in the headwaters of the Roaring Fork composed of local, state and federal partners Roaring Fork Conservancy's contribution stood out. In addition to robust sampling experience, their knowledge of local conditions, professionalism, scientific integrity, and commitment to share this transparently with the community make them integral to water quality projects.”  

Megan McConville, Ph.D., River Watch Program Manager 
 (February 2024)

Projects and Timelines


Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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