Wednesday, June 19, 2013

PTMSC is looking for a few good roofs for a stormwater runoff study

Are you interested in helping with environmental research? The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC), in conjunction with scientists at the University of Washington Center for Urban Waters, is leading a study of toxic chemicals in roof runoff. PTMSC is looking for 10 to 15 Port Townsend area residences where water samples can be taken from their roof during a rainfall. They are also seeking volunteers who can be trained in advance and then collect water samples on short notice. 
“We want to involve the community in this opportunity to learn what potential toxic chemicals are entering our stormwater,” said Jean Walat, PTMSC Program Director.  “If you are unable to sample your own roof, but want it included in the study, a PTMSC volunteer or staffer can sample for you. Likewise, if your roof doesn’t qualify, but you’d like to volunteer, we welcome your participation.”
PTMSC initiated this study, funded by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Urban Waters grant, as part of its focus on toxic chemicals that are part of everyday activities. The Puget Sound Partnership identified toxics in roofing materials as a suspected contributor to stormwater pollution in its 2012 State of the Sound. Roof runoff often flows into storm drains, contributing any pollutants directly to marine waters. Samples will be analyzed for a panel of about 35 chemicals, including many hydrocarbons and chemicals called phthalates that are found in plastics. PTMSC will also train Seattle Aquarium volunteers to provide similar testing in the city.
If your house has been built or re-roofed with composite (‘three-tab”)  roofing material  within the last three years and has metal rain gutters, PTMSC would like to hear from you. Sampling materials and training will be provided and volunteers will receive test results. For more information, contact Jamie Landry, Citizen Science Coordinator, at or call 360.385.5582, ext. 112.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Are there any updates to this article?

  3. Hi John,
    Go ahead and contact Jamie Landry at 360.385.5582 ext.112 for current information. Thanks for inquiring!


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