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We currently have two water quality monitoring programs, although collecting water quality data is also an essential part of our other citizen science projects as well.

Riverwatch

Riverwatch is a volunteer-driven effort that monitors local waters for compliance with both swimming and shellfishing water quality standards. We’ve been sampling and monitoring water quality at ten sites along the rivers for 29 years. Riverwatch starts on June 7th with a training at 8:45am for new volunteers only, and will be followed by five more sampling dates throughout the summer.

North River Headwaters

We have been funded by MassDEP to use bacterial source tracking to locate potential stormwater and wastewater pollution in the headwaters of the North River, including the Indian Head River, Drinkwater River, and French’s Stream. This project will require both regularly scheduled sampling as well as being on-call for wet weather sampling.

To volunteer for these or any other citizen science efforts, please fill out our citizen science volunteer form.

July 30, 2021 Results

On July 28th, 2021, volunteers completed the fifth round of sample collection for our RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program. After having the samples analyzed for bacterial colony forming units (cfu), they are compared to the Massachusetts state water quality standards in order to help determine this week’s water quality.

This week all but two of the sites sampled for Enterococcus met the Massachusetts state swimming standard of 104 cfu per 100ml. The following sites exceeded the state standard, The Washington Street Bridge (270 cfu), and Keville Foot Bridge (5,400 cfu). For Washington Street Bridge and Keville Foot Bridge this is their third and fourth failures this year respectively. There was no Enterococcus sample taken from The Situate Waste Water Treatment Plant this week. As for the exceedingly high reading from Keville Foot Bridge we are unsure of its cause at the moment, though we are investigating.

As for fecal coliform, the results largely mirror the last round of sampling in that all but one of the five locations tested was above the Massachusetts shellfishing standard, Driftway Park (83 cfu), North River Marine (59 cfu) Damon’s Point (51 cfu), and Julian Street Bridge (140 cfu) this is above the state threshold of 14 cfu per 100 ml. North River Mouth tested at 6 cfu this week, within the standard for shellfishing. This is the same distribution as the last round of sampling. Driftway Park, North River Marine, Damon’s Point, and Julian Street Bridge have been over the shellfishing standard every round of sample collection so far this year. Regardless of the data, these areas are closed for shellfishing until further notice as per state and federal regulations due to their proximity to the Scituate Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Thank You to the Norwell Womens Club for Sponsoring Three Weeks of Water Quality Testing!

NSRWA Executive Director Samantha Woods accepts a $1,000 donation from Shannon Toland of the Norwell Womens Club. The donation helps to support the RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring program and will be used to help pay the costs of water sample analysis. Thank you Norwell Women’s Club! If you would like to sponsor a week of testing, contact Gabriela Silva at gabriela@nsrwa.org.

July 15, 2021 Results

On July 14th, 2021, volunteers completed the fourth round of sample collection for our RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program. After having the samples analyzed for bacterial colony forming units (cfu), they are compared to the Massachusetts state water quality standards in order to help determine this week’s water quality.

This week only three of the sites sampled for Enterococcus met the Massachusetts state swimming standard of 104 cfu per 100ml. The sites that were within the state swimming standards are, Corn Hill Lane, the Scituate Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the North River Mouth. The following sites exceeded the state swimming standard, The Washington Street Bridge (110 cfu), Norwell Canoe Launch (130 cfu), Driftway Park (140 cfu), North River Marine (120 cfu), Damon’s Point (110 cfu), Julian Street Bridge (150 cfu), and Keville Foot Bridge (280 cfu). For the majority of the sites that failed, this was the first week in which they have done so, in the case of the Washington Street Bridge and the Keville Foot Bridge this is their second and third failures respectively this year. Stormwater runoff after rain events is the cause of the exceedances as the stormwater runs off the pavement with little to no treatment for bacteria.

As for fecal coliform, the results largely mirror the last round of sampling in that all but one of the five locations tested was above the Massachusetts shellfishing standard; Driftway Park (110 cfu), North River Marine (110 cfu) Damon’s Point (87 cfu), and Julian Street Bridge (230 cfu). These 4 were above the state threshold of 14 cfu per 100 ml for shellfishing. North River Mouth tested at 3 cfu again this week, within the standard for shellfishing. This is the same distribution as the last round of sampling. Driftway Park, North River Marine, Damon’s Point, and Julian Street Bridge have been over the shellfishing standard every round of sample collection so far this year. Regardless of the data, these areas are closed for shellfishing until further notice as per state and federal regulations due to their proximity to the Scituate Wastewater Treatment Plant.

June 30, 2021 Results

On June 30th, 2021, volunteers completed the third round of sample collection for our RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program. After having the samples analyzed for bacterial colony forming units (cfu), they are compared to the Massachusetts state water quality standards in order to help determine this week’s water quality.

This week all but one of the sites sampled for Enterococcus met the Massachusetts state swimming standard of 104 cfu per 100ml, Keville Foot Bridge (200 cfu). This is the second week in a row that Keville Foot Bridge has not met the Massachusetts swimming standard for Enterococcus.

As for fecal coliform, all but one of the five locations tested was above the Massachusetts shellfishing standard, Driftway Park (100 cfu), North River Marine (51 cfu) Damon’s Point (54 cfu), and Julian Street Bridge (65 cfu) this is above the state threshold of 14 cfu per 100 ml. North River Mouth tested at 3 cfu, within the standard for shellfishing. This is the same distribution as the last round of sampling. Driftway Park, North River Marine, Damon’s Point, and Julian Street Bridge has been over the shellfishing standard every round of sample collection so far this year. Regardless of these data, these areas are closed for shellfishing until further notice as per state and federal regulations having to do with its proximity to the Scituate wastewater treatment plant.

June 19, 2021 Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

On June 16th, 2021, volunteers completed the second round of sample collection for our RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program. After having the samples analyzed for their colony forming units (cfu), they are compared to the Massachusetts state standards in order to help determine this week’s water quality. The week of June 14th, all but two of the sites sampled for Enterococcus met the Massachusetts state swimming standard of 104 cfu per 100ml, Washington Street Bridge (140 cfu) and Willow Street Bridge (160 cfu). As for fecal coliform, all but one of the five locations tested was above the Massachusetts shellfishing standard, Driftway Park (130 cfu), North River Marine (92 cfu) Damon’s Point (50 cfu), and Julian Street Bridge (300 cfu) this is above the threshold of 14 cfu per 100 ml. North River Mouth tested at 8 cfu, within the standard. Even with this data it should be said that this area is still closed until further notice as per state and federal regulations having to do with its proximity to the Situate wastewater treatment plant.

 

June 2, 2021 Results

On June 2nd, 2021, volunteers completed the first round of sample collection for our RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program. After having the samples analyzed for two types of bacteria the results are compared to the Massachusetts state standards for swimming and shellfishing in order to help determine this week’s water quality. The week of May 31st, all of the sites sampled for enterococcus met the Massachusetts state swimming standard of 104 cfu per 100ml. For fecal coliform, all of the five locations tested were above the Massachusetts shellfishing standard – Driftway Park (260 cfu), North River Marine (400 cfu) Damon’s Point (300 cfu), North River Mouth (39 cfu), and Julian Street Bridge (88 cfu) were all above the threshold of 14 cfu per 100 ml. Out of these five locations, one (North River Marine, 400 cfu/100mL) also tested above the pre-2007 swimming threshold of 400 cfu per 100 ml.