Farmington River Research

Farmington River

If you want to help the river, it’s important to know where, and what, its problems are. FRWA gathers information that can lead to action. Our research and mapping projects assist planners, policymakers, watershed residents and river users.

What We Monitor

Our ongoing water quality monitoring provides information that complements the work of other agencies. It also builds up a long-term record that could show how the river responds to changes in the watershed.


E. Coli sampling occurs May through September throughout the Farmington River watershed in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Bacteria data is updated weekly in the summer on CRC's Is it Clean? website. View our E. Coli reports and learn more about bacteria in the river.


The Farmington River Watershed Association is partners with The Izaak Walton League of America on its volunteer program for monitoring road salt contamination in local water bodies. Road salt is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health. FRWA monitors for road salt pollution throughout the watershed year-round.

Water Temperature

FRWA currently has 18 “HOBOs” or temperature loggers throughout the Farmington River Watershed. The body temperature of most stream organisms is the same as the surrounding water, and each species has a range of temperatures that it can tolerate. Colder water holds more oxygen than warm water, a vital matter for oxygen-hungry species like trout. Water temperature helps determine which species thrive in a given reach of stream.


Currently, FRWA is conducting a project to investigate cyanobacteria blooms in Rainbow Reservoir, a 240 acre impoundment on the Farmington River in Windsor to evaluate bloom occurrence, causative agents and remedial options. Limnologist, Dr. Kenneth Wagner, designed our study and directed the project, which began in 2021.

Aquatic Insects

Macroinvertebrate sampling typically occurs from September through November. FRWA conducts macroinvertebrate sampling per CT DEEP RBV procedures. It is a great way to determine stream health. Every year there are volunteer opportunities for RBV.

Water quality map

Interested in the E.coli levels in the river and tributaries in your town? Click on the map to see where the FRWA takes samples and the sample results.

Farmington River Map

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