Our first week of RiverWatch has finally come to pass! We had a large group of eager 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. Our preliminary results point to our rivers being the cleanest we’ve maybe ever seen. The cleanliness of the water is likely related to the lack of precipitation. We have Level 2 Mild Drought declared for the Southeastern region of Massachusetts. Every site tested for fecal coliform had counts of 6 cfu (colony forming units) per 100ML or less. That is below the shellfishing standard for Massachusetts which is 14+ per 100ML, and well below the swimming standard which is currently 400+ per 100ML. Sites tested for enterococcus bacteria also had promising results. None of the sites tested exceeded 7 cfu per 100ML, leaving every site well below the 104+ per 100ML standard for enterococcus set by the state. Five of the sites tested had 0 enterococcus bacteria detected. These results have left us baffled, but optimistic. It is unprecedented to have any sites with 0 enterococcus bacteria found, so having 5 sites test for no enterococcus was very surprising. The outcome was amazing and we are hoping that these numbers remain constant throughout the summer. As of right now our rivers seem very clean from the data collected, and we encourage you to take advantage of the warm weather and go for a swim or boat ride!

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