Analyzing water is a complicated business. It can contain any number of pollutants and require a variety of regulations to clean it up, but the state of Virginia is using a simpler approach – letting nature determine water quality, and asking citizens to help.
On a sunny weekday afternoon, four people arrive at a one-lane bridge northeast of Charlottesville, unpacking a car loaded with mysterious gear – nets, gloves and waders, a table and chairs. They could easily be mistaken for picnickers. In fact, they’re on a more serious mission.