Water Quality Team

Looking at the clean blue water of Lake Nockamixon with medium rocks in the foreground and the sun shining on the water

Image by Rachel Rosenfeld, Sierra Club PA staff

Mission : A network of water advocates fighting for clean water for all Pennsylvanians and the environment by advocating at the state, and federal level. Expand the Delaware River Watershed “Water Defenders” model to other regions in PA - either by expanding the scope or replicating the team structure. Support and fund local efforts to upgrade stream designations and improve stream quality. Comment on DEP permits that degrade water quality. Support Group teams working in this space.

2021 Priorities

  • Track and support/oppose relevant water legislation
  • Create directory of water Q organizations and their scope 
  • Support Work that push to upgrade stream classifications
  • Partner w/ orgs that do tree plantings, training

Meetings and Events

The SC/PA Water Quality Team meets the 4th Thursdayof each month via video call. Look for "Chapter Water Qualiity Team Mtg" event on  our event calendar.


Recent Accomplishments

Acid Mine Remediation Webinar 
Speaker: Dennis Coffman, Trout Unlimited
Date/Time:  July 7 
Hosted by: Water Quality Team 

 Description: A presentation on Rausch Creek Acid Mine Remediation Site in Stony Valley. The Trout Unlimited Doc Fritchey Chapter's website at Rausch Creek Diversion Wells | Doc Fritchey Trout Unlimited, has the history, how it works, an 8 minute video and photos on the site. 

Check out this live data from a water quality probe located at Palmerton on the Lehigh River. The trends can be modified by adjusting properties.  

Live Lehigh River Probe 1    [video of Probe 1 deployment]

 Lehigh Probe 1

 The monitor is a Hach DS5 that measures temperature, pH, depth, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen and nitrates.  This connects to a Telog Ru33 cellular modem and data presented at the Telog enterprise web site.  Data obtained reveals riverine conditions 24/7 between March and October for myriad Sierra Club  conservation and educational objectives.

Call To Action!

Coming soon

PA Legislation

  • xxx - SUPPORT

  • xxx - OPPOSE

  • xxx - TRACKING

Contacts - Volunteer Interest

To ask a quesiton of the Water Quality Team, or learn how you can contribute to our team, submit this Volunteer Interest Form.

We are always looking for new volunteers. Join our next meeting (see Meetings & Events above) or connect our team leaders to learn how you can work on building our resource hub, organize to get stream classifications upgraded, or tracking PA legislation that helps to improve water quality in Pennsylvania.

Blogs & Articles

Lehigh Valley Water Quality Work

A few videos illustrating stream monitoring and tree planting work in the tributaries of the Lehigh River.


Video - Buck Mountain #2 (Weatherly, PA) AMD Discharge Causes aquatic toxicity over 5 miles to the Lehigh River confluence. 

This summarizes an assessment of pH and dissolved aluminum levels in the surface waters flowing from the Buck Mountain 2 Tunnel mine drainage site, to the Buck Mountain Creek and on to the confluence with the Lehigh River at Rockport. This assessment matches results from two years ago and shows that this stream has aluminum level that makes the stream toxic to aquatic life. To fix this problem, the remediation system at the tunnel must have the leak problem repaired and the system put back on line. Lehigh Valley Group Sierra Club is focused on this objective.


Video - Buck Mountain #2 (Weatherly, PA) AMD Treatment System Suspended Solids Filter Installation (to remove toxic aluminum)


Video - 2021 Lehigh River Tributary WQ Survey – From Bethlehem to Nesquehoning 16 tributaries are tested on August 2021 for our annual tributary survey


Video - 2021 Riparian Tree and Shrub Planting – 100 native trees and shrubs planted along the Jordan Creek in Orefield and in this video the status of the new plantings are checked three months after planting.


Video – Deployment of water quality monitor in Palmerton PA, March 2021. Water Quality Monitor deployed on the Lehigh River in Palmerton, 25Mar21. The probe measures DO, pH, Specific Conductance, depth and Nitrates then transmits this data wirelessly to the Internet for public viewing and education. Thanks to Lehigh River Stocking Association and Lehigh Valley Sierra Club for support of this annual program. We have been monitoring the Lehigh River for more than 10 years now.


This is a video of a tributary survey that included macroinvertebrate sampling at each tributary.


This video details extreme creek bank erosion at Bertsch Creek in Walnutport. The video was included in a grant proposal for funds to stabilize the banks.


This video details a field study of inflow and outflow measurements from the Lehigh Canal that extends from Glendon dam to Easton Dam. The study contributes to canal watering strategies that hopefully would help enable removal of the Glendon Dam, restoring 10+ miles of the Lehigh to a free flowing riverine system.


This video details construction of a 3rd 14” diameter feeder pipe to restore design flow rates to the Lausanne Tunnel passive wetland remediation system in Jim Thorpe.