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The VLMP is designed to be a self-help program. The data you collect is yours to use. Like joining the program, each volunteer may have a different reason for monitoring. Likewise, each volunteer will have a different use for their data.

We encourage volunteers to learn as much as they can about their data and we provide many resources to help jump start their search. For example, the VLMP training manual is riddled with many good tips and explanations of water quality. You may also visit Illinois EPA's website to find our Lake Notes publication, “Common Lake Water Quality Parameters,” to find answers to your questions. Additionally, there are many great websites to consult including (but definitely not limited to) the Great North American Secchi Dip-In website.

Annual Report

An annual report is published to present the results of each year’s volunteer monitoring sampling efforts as the data becomes available. These annual reports follow the guidelines set forth in the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Report, Part A (VLMP-Part-A). VLMP-Part-A provides an extensive background, all the methods and procedures used in collecting the experimental data, and a data evaluation section which details how the data is evaluated to determined various potential water quality use determinations for lake managers and owners.

Each VLMP-Annual Report Part B presents the results, discussion, and summary of that year’s program. The Appendix A attachment contains the tables associated with the report and the Appendix B is the unfiltered chemical and monitoring data used to create the tables and report.



A VLMP newsletter is published twice per year to keep volunteers updated on current lake and watershed topics and to inform them if there are any announcements or changes in the program.