Welcome to miniSASS

What is miniSASS?

miniSASS is a simple tool which can be used by anyone to monitor the health of a river. You collect a sample of macroinvertebrates (small animals) from the water, and depending on which groups are found, you have a measure of the general river health and water quality in that river. 

Anyone can learn how to collect a miniSASS sample on a river. Once you have collected a sample you look for the different bug groups and score whether they were found.  The score then tells you the health class of the river, ranging across five categories from natural to very poor. 


Have a look at the How To page to see how easy it is. Through miniSASS you can learn about rivers, monitor the water quality of rivers within your community, and explore reasons why the water quality may not be as clean as everyone would like.


The most important feature of the new website is the miniSASS Map, which allows you to explore your catchment, find your river, look at any existing miniSASS results and then upload your own miniSASS results! The map also lets you explore your catchment to see the land uses and activites that might be improving or worsening water quality.


Get your community, school or family and friends involved in monitoring a selection of your streams and rivers. In this way a map of river health across Southern Africa will develop.  Communities can use the information and knowledge to illustrate the plight of their rivers, connect with other miniSASS samplers and investigate pollution sources.


Latest Blog Posts

miniSass Newsletter September 2016
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:53 by miniSASS Team

minisass-newsletter-september-2016 Advertisements

Mandela Day – 18 July 2016
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:47 by miniSASS Team


miniSASS Newsletter: National Water Week Edition
Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:25 by miniSASS Team


miniSASS Newsletter March 2016
Tue, 15 Mar 2016 08:20 by miniSASS Team


National Water Week miniSASS competition 2016
Tue, 08 Mar 2016 13:39 by miniSASS Team


miniSASS Newsletter July 2015
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 07:26 by miniSASS Team

miniSASS Newsletter July 2015

nunu of the month: True fly
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:53 by miniSASS Team

Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Diptera Some true flies can tolerate really filthy oxygen depleted water and use haemoglobin (red blood worm) or “snorkels” (rat tailed) to survive in these conditions. The true flies are a very large and very diverse group. The Diptera is one of the largest orders with most of their families […]

miniSASS Newsletter: October 2014
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:04 by miniSASS Team


Featured 'Nunu"

Aquatic macroorganisms are part of miniSASS and here we learn about their amazing facts and interesting adaptations.

This time we look at:



Aquatic Earthworm 

Interesting facts:


Physical Features

 Aquatic earthworms have tube like bodies with no defined head, legs or tentacles. Their thin body wall is a see-through pink skin revealing their intestines.


Habitat & habits

 Unlike their terrestrial counterparts they live permanently in freshwater. They are bottom dwellers living in the mud or on the river bed, also known as the benthic zone. They are usually found crawling in the mud while feeding or in a coiled up position when resting.   



 Their diet consists predominantly of dead organic matter and algae.



Tolerance to pollution

 Their muddy habitat provides them with very little oxygen. To survive these conditions earthworms have developed an adaptation to breathe through their skin. Their adaptation to live in oxygen depleted water gives them a tolerance score of 1 making them highly tolerant to polluted conditions.


Take a closer look!!!


Aquatic Earthworm

Recent Observations

Silvermine Rive-Lower Silvermin

: Debeers
: 16 Mar 2018
: 5.50

Silvermine Rive-Lower Silvermin

: AmyC
: 15 Mar 2018
: 5.17

Silvermine Rive-Lower Silvermin

: clintdean2
: Centre for Conservation Education
: 15 Mar 2018
: 5.38


: LauraAnn
: ORCA Foundation
: 13 Mar 2018
: 4.00

Silvermine Rive-Lower Silvermin

: clintdean2
: Centre for Conservation Education
: 08 Mar 2018
: 7.80


: Esmeralda
: Msunduzi Municipality
: 05 Mar 2018
: 4.71


: Kimberley8
: 04 Mar 2018
: 5.25

Goubos-Goubos 1

: LivingLabs
: Living Labs
: 02 Mar 2018
: 5.00

© 2018 Water Research Commission. This is an open source project. Get the source code at Github

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