Haywood Waterways Association
Volunteer Water Information Network (V.W.I.N.)
VOLUNTEERS HELPING OUT
Haywood Waterways is always looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in helping with this program, contact Dave Dudek at 828-926-1308 - please call late afternoon or early evening.
Collecting water quality data is critical for understanding the ‘health’ of the watersheds we live in. To be useful, this information must be gathered over a long period of time and in a very consistent manner. The need for stream water quality data collection led to the formation of the Volunteer Water Information Network (VWIN). This network is a partnership of groups and individuals dedicated to preserving water quality in western North Carolina.
In 1990, volunteers began gathering water quality samples at 27 stream sites in Buncombe County. In August of 1996, with funding from the Pigeon River Fund, Haywood County began monitoring twelve stream sites in the Pigeon River watershed. More sites have been added since that time. Volunteers collect samples at the same time and day each month. These samples are then delivered to the Environmental Quality Institute (EQI). EQI analyzes the water samples for the following information: pH, alkalinity, turbidity, total suspended solids, conductivity, metals (copper, lead, zinc), and nutrients (orthophosphate, ammonia nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen). At the end of each year, EQI prepares a report summarizing the water quality conditions at each site. This information gives a snap shot of existing conditions, as well as changes that occur over time.
Through the VWIN Program, Haywood Waterways and our partners we have found the water quality in Haywood County streams vary greatly. We have some of the best water in North Carolina; we also have some of the worst! We also know that the primary culprit is sediment – dirt that washes off the land and into streams when it rains.
Haywood Waterways uses the water quality information to help identify streams that have a water quality problem. Once the stream(s) are identified, Haywood Waterways applies for grants to fund restoration projects to correct the problem. We are not a regulatory agency, nor do we report violators. We work with willing landowners and our partners to find the financial and technical resources needed to implement projects to help improve the water quality in Haywood County for all to enjoy.
If you would like to learn more about the sampling results, please look at the VWIN Summaries:
MAP of V.W.I.N. Site Locations
View V.W.I.N. in a larger map
Click on the View VWIN in a Larger map to enlarge the area. The information collected is not used to locate polluters. This information is only used as a tool to help HWA identify streams which are in need of restoration.