Before you go out testing, you should have a general plan for the season! Will you be testing every week? Every month? This is important to decide, so you can ensure you're gathering high quality continuous data over the course of the season. We recommend following the official Water Rangers protocol. The most important thing to remember is that consistency is key. It's best to test at regular intervals, such as once per month. It's even important to test at the same time of day each time if possible, such as 10AM.
The official Water Rangers testing days are on the last weekend of every month. If you'd like to receive reminders about this, let us know!
Check to see if your kit is fully stocked
If you've had your supplies for a while, you might be due to replenish them. Or maybe your secchi disk is a little worn, and it's time for a new one! Either way, it's best to assess the contents of your kit before you head to the water. Then, you can visit our online store to stock up on whatever you need!
Check the expiration dates on your equipment
Some items, like your test strips and dissolved oxygen vials, will expire after a few years of having them. Make sure to check the expiry date on these items to ensure they're still going to give you accurate results! If they're expired or set to expire this year, you can replenish them with our restocking pack.
Calibrate your conductivity meter
Can you remember the last time you calibrated your conductivity meter? If not, it's probably time to do so. As a general rule of thumb, conductivity meters should be calibrated once a year. To do so, you'll need calibration solution. This helpful video will show you what to do next!
Customize your observation form
Your form is set-up for the Water Rangers Freshwater Explorer as a default, but there are lots of ways you can make your form perfect for how you like to test. If you have equipment of your own, you can add in extra parameters, and for many of them, you can say if you're doing one, two, or three tests. Besides that, you can add things like "testers names", "ice watch", micro-plastics, invasive species, and more. If there’s something missing that you want to track, feel free to reach out to us to see what we can do.