Safety in Our
- If you would like some additional helpers, please contact
- Make sure that someone knows the date, time, and location
that you will be monitoring so that if you are injured, someone
will know that you are missing or late in returning.
- PLEASE DO NOT MONITOR ALONE.
- Find out the phone number of the nearest medical center to
your monitoring site and the location of a pay phone should you
need to call for help. Cell phones often do not work in stream
valleys. You may have to climb to the top of the ridge to get
Rules to Monitor by:
- Never monitor when the water is at flood stage or is flowing
much swifter than normal. It is better to delay your monitoring
event than to risk drowning or broken bones.
- During monitoring, keep your hands away from eye and mouth
areas. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS THOUROUGHLY WITH SOAP AND WATER
AFTER MONITORING. NEVER EAT WITHOUT WASHING YOUR HANDS FIRST.
Many of our streams have elevated fecal coliform levels. Do not
monitor your stream with open cuts.
- If the water appears to be polluted (strong smell of sewage
or chemicals, unusual colors, dead fish) please postpone your
To protect yourself, it is advised that you:
- Wear rubber boots or waders to keep your legs and feet dry
and to minimize contact with water. Rubber boots will also offer
protection from ticks. It is better to wear old sneakers than
sandals because they offer protection from glass and sharp rocks
in the stream.
- Wear rubber gloves to reduce contact with water and to prevent
cuts from trash in the stream.
Snakes are of concern when monitoring in an aquatic environment,
especially slow moving water with overhanging vegetation. Most
snakes in aquatic environments are not poisonous. If you approach
your site through thick high grass, thump the ground in front
of you with a walking stick. Snakes will feel the vibrations
and will move away. Snakes are deaf so load noises will not scare
them away. The only poisonous snake in Virginia is the Copperhead.
If you do not know what it looks like, take a look at the brochure
enclosed as page 2.
In case of snake bite:
- Remain calm. Take a few deep breaths and keep movement to
- Remove all jewelry and watches if bitten on the hand or arm.
Snake venom may cause the area to swell.
- Have your monitoring partner call 911 for help if you suspect
a Copperhead bite.
PLEASE DO A TICK CHECK WHEN YOU RETURN FROM MONITORING!
Please read the brochure enclosed as page 2. If you do find a
tick on your skin, remove it right away. To remove an attached
tick, use tweezers to grasp the tick at the skin surface.