Water Quality Sampling and Design

Course Description

The intent of the water quality monitoring course is to provide participants with knowledge required in order to understand the design of programs for effluents and fresh water, and to sample safely, properly, and with the ability to obtain the best scientifically-defensible results. This will be accomplished through the use of case studies and exercises which will reinforce the principles developed in the classroom. These will uphold current British Columbia and federal legislation, as well as best management practices for monitoring programs.


By the end of this course participants should understand the important considerations in planning and conducting effluent and freshwater monitoring programs, and will be able to:

  • Define terms used in water quality that are crucial to being able to develop a good monitoring program
  • Define the main principles in the design of effluent sampling programs and ambient fresh water quality monitoring programs, including but not limited to types of programs
  • Define the main principles in monitoring effluents and ambient fresh water quality monitoring of lakes and streams, including collection of representative samples for each case
  • Understand the importance of Quality Assurance/Quality Control in water quality monitoring programs
  • Define why different meters are used in monitoring, and the need for proper calibration of each
  • Use some basic field equipment and techniques used in monitoring freshwater streams and lakes
  • Contrast and apply the theoretical discussion and the practical real-life examples
  • Sample effluents, streams and lakes in a safe and accurate manner


This 3-day course spends approximately 70% of the time in classroom and 30% of the time in the field.


None. A swift-water rescue is recommended but not mandatory.

You Supply

Wading boots or chest waders are recommended but not mandatory.

Upcoming Deliveries and Registration Information

See our program schedule for a list of all upcoming NREP course deliveries. If this course is not currently noted in the schedule, please contact NREP@viu.ca to enquire about future opportunities. Prior to registering for any NREP course, please review the program's registration guidelines, including important refund policy information.