Area Organization Receives Grant

Posted on Feb 18 2024 in LaGrange County REMC
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The LaGrange County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) recently received a $8,500 EnviroWatts grant from LaGrange County REMC. The SWCD was looking to purchase a high-quality, portable water quality testing meter, the OTT HydroMet HL7 sonde. The grant allows the SWCD to achieve its fundraising goal for the program (about $25,000) and will enable them to launch the Strategic Water Quality Monitoring program this year.

Maintaining healthy water quality and striving for improvements in the health of water resources requires a basic understanding of current water quality conditions and tracking changes over space and time. Monitoring water quality is critical for characterizing whether waterways are attaining their desired uses for supporting human recreation and agricultural production and providing a source of clean drinking water. Ensuring that water sources are healthy for future generations, especially in this era of chronic nonpoint source pollution arising from runoff across urban, agricultural, and industrial landscapes, begins with a well-designed water monitoring program.

The new meter “represents current state of the art technology in water testing,” noted Martin Franke, District Manager of the LaGrange County SWCD. “It will replace a literal vanload of equipment that the district has used for the past 20 years to monitor surface water quality in and around LaGrange County.”

EnviroWatts is only possible because of our members. Those who participate pay an additional one cent for their first 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) each month. Those kilowatt-hours are then generated from renewable, environmentally preferred sources, and those pennies go directly back into the community through grants for improvement initiatives like this one.

Franke, the SWCD board, staff and volunteers are very appreciative of the grant. “We would all like to express our deepest appreciation to LaGrange County REMC for this vitally important contribution to our current effort to achieve and maintain good surface water quality for everyone in LaGrange County and the St. Joseph River Basin.”

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