Some North Texas cities are getting help from an unlikely source to test the quality of their water.
Residents in Denton County are volunteering to monitor bodies of water in their communities.
There are several ways to find out what is in the bodies of water in your community. David Hunter, the manager of watershed protection for the city of Denton, is teaching Denton, Lewisville and Flower Mound residents how to monitor creeks and streams in their neighborhoods.
"We can't be everywhere at once, so that's another set of eyes, another set of hands," he said.
This training session is part of a statewide effort called "Stream Team." Volunteers learn what to look for in the bodies of water around them.
"That's what we are doing, is learning the proper technique to take samples, what tests to run, the proper methods for documentation," Lewisville resident Jason Longbine said.
The data they collect may be used by their city to find and fix problems. Stream Team volunteers end up saving their cities time and money because the cities don't have to send paid employees to collect the data.
"One time, they [volunteers] saw something wrong with the water," Hunter said. "We went out, and there was a manhole overflow, and we went out and were able to identify it and notify our collection system."
Even if there are no red flags, the volunteers said it's important to understand the environment around them.
"We need to get more connected and realize where things come from and how our water gets from the river to our sinks every day," Denton resident Rosemary Carrizales said.