Finding water pollution, figuring out the source, developing a solution.

How It Works

Through citizen reports and staff monitoring, we investigate pollution incidents and ongoing threats to water quality. Once a major pollution threat is identified we implement measures to find a solution.

  1. PATROLLING: Staff and volunteers conduct regular On-The-Ground and On-The-Water investigations to hunt for pollution.
  2. CITIZEN POLLUTION REPORTS: Our Riverwatcher Program trains interns and citizens how to identify and report pollution in our watershed.
  3. COMPLIANCE SWEEPS: We conduct systematic, bi-annual compliance sweeps to determine what point-source polluters are exceeding their Clean Water Act (CWA) Permits.
  4. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: Working with partners, we research and assess the current state of our rivers.

Want to help us identify threats?

Report Pollution Riverwatchers

Latest Updates


USGS Shenandoah Smallmouth Bass Research Beginning to Find Answers

Shenandoah Riverkeeper began working with Dr. Vicki Blazer, of the USGS National Fish Health Research Laboratory in Kearneysville, WV, during the 2005 Fish Kill Task Force. Since then, we’ve assisted in the lab’s collection efforts and have been the eyes and ears for happenings on the river. The result of this collaboration is a greater […]


What’s Behind the Fish Kills on the Shenandoah?

Now that the summer has officially arrived, everyone wants to know how the fishing is doing on the Shenandoah River. Unfortunately, for this season, I am afraid it will be a bit of a slog, but there are a couple of encouraging signs that bode well for the fishery in future seasons. In 2014, a […]


38 New Facilities Found to be in Violation of Permits in Upper Potomac

The Clean Water Act established a national framework for setting clean water standards and regulations in practice that would protect our rivers and streams and their use for drinking, fishing, swimming and boating. To do this effectively, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting scheme was created. Although the NPDES system has not met […]


Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Conducts Pollution Permit Compliance Sweep and Finds Severe Violations

In March, 2015, Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s Upper Potomac Riverkeeper completed a pollution permit compliance sweep in the Upper Potomac watershed, reviewing 291 Clean Water Act permits that allow industrial facilities to discharge into nearby waterways. Our sweep found that 38 out of 291 facilities had committed severe violations of State and Federal water quality standards, […]