Water Quality Monitoring Programme

Volunteers taking water quality Samples

The Community Water Quality Monitoring Programme began in 2002 when a pilot programme, to identify the issues and opportunities associated with implementing such a programme, was undertaken in conjunction with Waterwatch (Lincoln University) and members of the Guardians of the Styx. Since then, our Styx Water Quality Monitoring Volunteers have regularly monitored water quality at a number of sites throughout the catchment.


 are used for our monitoring programme.

Water Quality Monitoring Programme Coordinators

Leo Fietje



Leo has a background in Agricultural Science and recently retired from Environment Canterbury after 35 years working in various regulatory and non-regulatory roles. Most recently he worked with individual land-owners farming adjacent to sensitive rivers and lakes to research reasons for decline in water quality and actions needed to address, both on and off-farm. He is currently a member of the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust and working with MPI to help build resilience in rural communities. Leo and is married to Julie and they live in Harewood, close to the top end of the Pūharakekenui.

To sign up for the upcoming monitoring session, please contact Julia and Leo at styxwq@gmail.com

The data from our water quality monitoring sessions contributes to the Christchurch City Council's Annual Surface Water Quality Report. 

Ted Potts

Ted has a background in Adventure Therapy, guiding groups, and running workshops for people in the bush and around white water. Through volunteering, he has picked up water monitoring skills while working across Aotearoa. He is currently working for Wildlands Consultancy as part of the restoration projects team, working on jobs throughout Christchurch and across Canterbury. Ted is passionate about citizen science and is committed to expanding public participation on the protection off Canterburies waterways.

On the third Saturday of every month our community water quality monitoring team take water samples, measurements and write down observations about the water quality, vegetation, and wildlife.

You will be given instructions and paired up with with another volunteer. And it's rather rewarding to be part of looking after our waterways.


  • Meet at Styx Living Laboratory Trust Lab at 130 Hussey Road, Harewood. 
    The laboratory is in the CCC Park Rangers compound, north of the Styx Conservation Park).  Turn in the driveway, the lab is the dark building to the left.                                                                  


  • Third Saturday of each month commencing at 10 am.  If weather is unsuitable, or the day is changed, the WQ Coordinator will contact all signed up volunteers.  

Volunteers need to bring

  • Sturdy outdoor clothing & footwear for muddy & wet conditions