The purpose of the RiverWatch Water Quality surveys are to determine whether or not sites along the North and South Rivers have exceeded colony concentration numbers for Massachusetts’ swimming and shellfishing standards. Enterococcus colonies were collected at nine sites along the North and South Rivers, while fecal coliform samples were collected in shellfish growing areas (none of which are open at the moment for harvest). According to Massachusetts’ swimming standards, enterococcus levels may not exceed 104 cfu per 100mL of water sampled. The Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries shellfishing standard is 14 cfu per 100mL of fecal coliform.

For samples collected on July 1st, water at Washington St. Bridge, Cornhill Lane, and Keville Footbridge exceeded the Massachusetts’ swimming standard for enterococcus. The elevated concentration of enterococcus is likely due to rainfall during the days prior to sampling.

Shellfish beds are closed from May 31 until November 1 so the information presented in this section is purely for informational purposes. Concentrations of fecal coliform exceeded the shellfish standard at Driftway Park, North River Marine, Damon’s Point and Julian Street Bridge. Some caution must be taken as many designated shellfish areas still exceed the standard for consumption per Massachusetts regulation.

Please note that all shellfish beds in the North and South Rivers are closed from May 31 until November 1. The next round of sampling will be conducted on Wednesday, July 10.