Another two weeks have flown by, and we are back reporting on the quality of water within our watershed from last Tuesday’s sampling. We had another successful RiverWatch, with volunteers waking up at the crack of dawn on July 19, 2022 to collect samples from around the South Shore. Last week’s samples seem to indicate a slight shift in the quality of our water. We saw slightly higher levels of fecal coliform in 2 of the 3 shellfishing sites with one exceeding the 14 cfu (colony forming units) per 100ml standard at North River Marine or Roht Marine, while Damon’s Point came close with 12 cfu per 100ml. All recreational shellfishing is closed at this point however we collect these data to provide to the state in hopes that we can reopen these beds in the future!
Our rivers fared quite well compared with the state’s swimming standard for enterococci bacteria, with only one site exceeding the limit of 104 per 100ml at the Keville St. Footbridge on the South River. However, there was a slight increase of bacteria at nearly every site – likely due to the slight rain we had prior to sampling. This year’s sampling continues to confirm for us that rain or stormwater runoff carries pollution into our rivers from our roads, lawns, and roofs. This year’s drought has meant we are seeing lower bacteria levels in the river – even droughts have silver linings!
We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the watershed with a swim to cool off or a boat ride to see our magnificent wildlife. These data are reflective of past conditions, not the future, but provide insight into the water quality at the time of the sampling.
Click here to read more about the RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program.