Citizen Science - KSU Extension

General Information

2021 Throckmorton
Manhattan, KS 66506 United States


Organization Narrative

The KSU "Citizen Science" program is designed to let community members do their own soil and water testing through the use of accurate test kits. We have compared the recommended test kits to commercial lab results, and found that for general purpose use, they will tell you if a stream, lake, pond, storm run-off, or other water supply meets designated water quality standards. They can also be used for preliminary testing of drinking water, but follow-up testing should be performed by a certified lab if a problem is suspected.

Our program will offer training to WRAPS coordinators, stake-holders, local teachers, or others involved in water sampling efforts, or coordination of efforts. The educational value of community level assessment complements and adds value to the official KDHE water quality data that is available. For example, a community can sample tributaries to a local lake used for recreation or drinking water, and identify hot spots for further efforts. Storm run-off can be sampled right after a rain event or as needed to identify where particular water quality problems may be coming from.

Our project also offers test kits, data sheets, and planning guidelines for community sampling efforts. Phone, e-mail, and in-person consultation is also available. These commercially available test kits cost a fraction of lab tests, so many samples can be tested in various locations along a stream or river, several times a year, and several replications can confirm whether a particular site is a problem or not. After remediation efforts have been made, test kits can be used to validate success stories, and are great to have at field days, water festivals, etc.

Publications (available in hard copy or at our website) illustrate how to do each test, how to interpret the results, and provide links to similar projects in other states. A poster (pdf version) is also available at our website, or enlarged and laminated for classroom use. Brochures are also available that provide an overview of the program.

General Services

  • Education


Education In the WRAPS assessment process, water test kits can be used in the "inventory" phase. In addition to KDHE data, local data on water quality can help with community education efforts. Our training, publications and test kits will help you with this.

Additional Services

  • Water Test Kit Training - Test kits include pH, temperature, ammonia, nitrate, ortho-phospate, turbidity, E. coli, and atrazine.

Service Area

Basin Map

Citizen Science - KSU Extension provides services in the areas listed below:

  • All - We serve the entire state

WRAPS Projects we're currently working with

We are working with individuals and classrooms in several parts of the state, but not with any WRAPS projects directly at this time.

Copyright 2019 Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy
This project funded in part through the Kansas Water Office, with appropriations from the Kansas Water Plan Fund; and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, through EPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant # C9007405-11.