We made it through another two weeks, and RiverWatch sampling has been conducted once again. We had amazing volunteers go out early on July 5th to collect samples from 10 different sites across the North and South Rivers. We test our samples for fecal coliform and for enterococcus bacteria which are indicators of water quality. The drought that we’ve been experiencing has continued throughout the last few weeks and continues to affect the RiverWatch test results.
The Keville footbridge site on the South River, for the second week in a row, has over 100cfu of enterococcus per 100ml which exceeds the swimming standard. While the other sites appeared cleaner, the Keville footbridge actually tested much higher than previously observed. It went from 130cfu per 100ml to 210cfu per 100ml. A jump like that is a little unprecedented, but either way it is unfit to swim in as of right now. Every other place we sampled was under the Massachusetts standard by a wide margin with none of the sampling sites over 104cfu/100mL. This summer has been clean for our rivers, mostly due to this prolonged drought, so take advantage while you can and go for a swim or a boat ride!
Click here to read more about the RiverWatch Water Quality Monitoring Program.