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Water quality monitoring

What problem are you looking to  solve ?

The quality of a watercourse can vary depending on the weather, the behaviour of its tributaries and many nearby human activities. This makes it difficult to ensure that swimming or boating in a watercourse is always safe.


Water quality is usually measured by the amount of bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) found in the water. In low concentrations, this bacteria is not dangerous to health, but its presence in large quantities is an indicator of the presence of other bacteria that could cause gastrointestinal diseases, among others.

It takes between 24 and 72 hours to know the amount of E. coli with traditional bacteriological analysis techniques, which is of no use in waterways where contamination peaks are frequent but short-lived. This explains why beaches can be closed for several days at a time while waiting for the results.

Our water quality monitoring services

Implementation of a water quality monitoring system

• Water samples for laboratory enumeration of E. coli
• Possibility of using a device to interpret the results quickly (results in 15 minutes)
• Evaluate the infrastructures and their capacity to meet the needs of the community

Analysis and interpretation of results

• Establish a method for analyzing and interpreting the data
• Enhance the analysis with field source tracking as needed


Portrait of temporal and spatial fluctuations in water quality under different weather conditions
Preliminary identification of contamination sources and associated risks
Identification of contamination peaks
Diagnostic report validating the water quality of the site for swimming and water sports (if applicable)
Vulnerability assessment of the targeted swimming area (if applicable)
Guidance and training materials on water sampling and the operation of a continuous water quality monitor (if applicable)

Our approach

Personalized counseling

Each project is unique. That's why we offer support at every stage, from identifying priority interventions to implementing solutions. We also provide the necessary training for your organization's leaders.

Collaborative support

A project often brings together several stakeholders. We are committed to maximizing the impact of the project by presenting key results and providing training and awareness activities.

Your benefits

The expertise of a specialized, neutral and independent non-profit organization
Obtaining a detailed report on water quality trends
Rapid pollution detection
Informed decision making on swimming potential
Detection of previously unknown sources of contamination
Reduction of health risks 
Are you in charge of a watershed organization, a municipality or an association?

Consult the guide to opening an urban swimming site to find out how the Fondation Rivières can help you.

Any questions ?

Contact us

Make a difference

Join us by becoming a member. Your financial support will allow our organization to continue protecting Quebec's rivers and streams for future generations. 

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Our charity number : 14505 9911 RR0002