North and South Rivers Riverwatch June 2, 2016 Water Quality Summary
The North & South Rivers Watershed Association has been sampling water quality at 10 sites along the North & South Rivers for 23 years to evaluate the health of the rivers. This volunteer-driven program monitors the rivers every other week from the beginning of June to the end of August. Our volunteers monitor for both swimming and shellfishing standards, each of which have specific concentrations of fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria that are considered safe for these different kinds of human interaction with the water.
Ralph Butler and Andrea Miller, longtime Riverwatch volunteers conducted our June 2nd sampling at 5:30 am. When asked why on earth they would get up at the crack of dawn to do this work, Ralph replied, “We have to monitor the water quality so we have healthy rivers. We also desperately need more volunteers because some of our monitors have moved out of state.”
For the sampling date of June 2nd 2016, one site exceeded the standard for swimming of 400 cfu/100 mL at the Corn Hill Lane site in Marshfield and only just slightly. Within the 48 hours before sampling, we had received 0.73” of rain. This typically causes some of our samples to exceed standards due to stormwater runoff from residential and commercial areas, and could have contributed to the slightly above swimming standard bacteria counts at Corn Hill Lane. Otherwise, samples from the remaining 9 sites met both the swimming and the shellfishing standards. Shellfish bed sampling sites include North River Marine, Damon’s Point and North River Mouth however the shellfish beds are seasonally closed from June 1 and will reopen on November 1 because water quality in the closed months does not consistently meet the shellfishing standards….at least not yet, we are working on it!