Another couple of weeks have come and gone as we look at our second round of RiverWatch testing for the summer. We had another group of fantastic volunteers that helped collect samples at 10 different sites across the North and South Rivers. We test for fecal coliform and enterococcus bacteria which help indicate the water quality at different sites. Last week was surprisingly clean, most likely due to the drought we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks. While this round certainly isn’t in the same league in terms of cleanliness, it was still a relatively uncontaminated week of samples. Only two samples exceeded either the shellfishing or swimming standard this week. The Julian street bridge shellfishing site had 21cfu (colony forming units) per 100ml which exceeds the Massachusetts standard of 14cfu per 100ml. The Keville footbridge was the only site to exceed the swimming standard for Massachusetts, coming in at 130cfu per 100ml of enterococcus. While some sites had much higher concentrations of enterococcus this week, there are no other restrictions on swimming. 7 of the 10 sites tested still had enterococcus levels of 15cfu per 100ml or less, so there is still hope that our rivers are remaining clean. The drought we’ve had continued through last week, so that could still have lasting effects on the results we’re collecting. As the weather continues to get warmer we encourage everyone to go for a swim or a boat ride, and to take advantage of the sustained cleanliness of our rivers.

Click here to read more about the RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program.