Resources / Water Reporter

Get started as a Harpeth Conservancy citizen scientist! Download the Water Reporter app [for iPhones or Androids] to post problems you see on the river.

1. Download the free Water Reporter app from the Apple Store here (for iphones) or the Google Store here (for android). 

2. Check out this handy download sheet to get you all set up with the app and connected with Harpeth Conservancy. 

3. Read through our Water Reporter Training Manual to see what types of issues to post, how to comment, how to use hashtags, and much more!

Documenting algae for Harpeth Conservancy is invaluable to determine the health of the stream! Whether you're a college student needing class credit, a Girl Scout / Boy Scout troop, a corporate team, or a concerned citizen, WE NEED YOU!


1. Open the Water Reporter app

2. Connect with Harpeth Conservancy's Watershed Group

3. Take a photo of the algae

- hold camera 4ft above for overview photos, 1ft for closeups

4. Add a caption

- type broad category of algae: film, mats, sludge, cyano, green filamentous, other filamentous

- determine size of algae occurrence: roughly how many square meters

- estimate percentage of substrate that is covered with algae

- tell what the algae is attached to: sand, gravel, cobble, boulder, bedrock

5. Take a picture of the canopy (or sky) directly above the algae

- categorize the canopy cover: fully shaded, partially shaded, partially open, fully open

- estimate distance of canopy opening: closest canopy on each side of the stream

6. Upload your picture to Water Reporter, and don't forget to tag #algae and #harpethalgae!

If you would like to follow your own section of the stream, please email Samantha Estes at to determine a part of the river that needs some help.

Do you ever notice something wrong with the waterways where you live, work, and recreate? Anything like these photos?



The photos above have been taken of waterways in Middle Tennessee, and the issues include algae blooms, erosion, litter, poor water quality as seen with this oil sheen, and obstructions in the case of log jams. 

Use the Water Reporter app to document river issues!

For any questions or concerns about the app, feel free to email Samantha Estes at We hope you enjoy being a Water Reporter!

Many thanks to our sponsors for helping us to implement Water Reporter in our area!