Water Quality Lab specialist examines two containers holding water samples

You Can Participate In Our Water Quality Monitoring Program!

The Virginia Aquarium's water quality lab is approved by the State of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality to process environmental samples from community volunteers and groups interested in monitoring local waterways. Waterways of interest include stormwater retention ponds, creeks, rivers, estuaries, and other natural bodies of water. ​We are seeking citizen scientists, Home Owner Associations, school groups, or environmental groups who want to learn about the quality of their natural water sources.​

How To Participate In Water Quality Monitoring


Fill Out The Form

Complete the registration form at the link below.


Bring Your Sample In

Bring your sample to the Aquarium on your assigned date, on ice, within 12 hours of collection. Several tests will be run on each sample, with additional tests as well as explanations of parameters available upon request.


Wait For Results!

Lab results will be mailed to you within 3 business days! They will also be mapped at the link below by the City of Virginia Beach if within city limits.

What We Analyze - And What We Do Not

  • Stormwater retention ponds
  • Creeks
  • Rivers
  • Estuaries
  • Other natural bodies of water
  • Tap water
  • Pool water
  • Well water
  • Salinity (ppt NaCl)
  • pH
  • Alkalinity (mg/L CaCO3)
  • Ammonia-N (mg/L)
  • Nitrite-N (mg/L)
  • Nitrate-N (mg/L)
  • Orthophosphate (mg/L)

Enterococcus Bacteria ​​(MPN per 100mL)

  • Turbidity (FAU)
  • Color (PtCo)
  • Calcium (mg/L)
  • Magnesium (mg/L)
  • Total coliform (MPN per 100 mL) and E. coli (MPN per 100 mL)

We are an environmental information source with laboratory inspections and quality control monitoring performed by the State of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality, but we cannot make regulatory decisions on water quality, test drinking water, or provide data that will lead to health decisions.

We do not classify water as "good" or "bad." We provide the scientific data on a body of water and provide details on the parameters we test. We are not a regulatory agency and do not provide assessments on the health of a system.​

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