The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had the final day of our monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, August 31st. Volunteers collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams throughout the summer. This year, we had sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.
The huge sampling effort that SeVWA undertakes this year and every year would simply not be possible without all of our wonderful volunteers. They wake up early every other Wednesday morning to take time out of their busy lives to collect samples rain or shine. Many of our sites can be difficult to access but the results provide our community with valuable information about the state of our rivers. Volunteers also get to know their particular portion of the river and help us identify possible pollution sources and alert us to any changes that might indicate a change in water quality. Thank you volunteers, for all that you do. SeVWA really appreciates it!
The days leading up to August 31st were dry and only a few of our sites tested above the “suitability for swimming” standard set by the State of Vermont and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Often, high bacteria levels are a result of heavy rains due to the water flowing over the ground, particularly impervious surfaces, carries all the bacteria from the land into the stream with it. Because heavy rains can cause spikes in bacteria, it is generally recommended to wait 24-48 hours after a significant rainfall to resume swimming in lakes and streams.
Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli, is a bacterium that is found in the guts of all warm blooded animals, including humans. Most E. coli will not make a person sick, but sometimes they can become pathogenic which means they can cause illness. Additionally, the presence of E. coli in waters acts as an indicator for the presence of other, more difficult to test for pathogens. We publish our results to the public in order to help everyone make informed decisions about recreating in southeastern Vermont’s waters.
SeVWA’s water quality monitoring program is supported by SeVWA volunteers, members and donors, including the Londonderry Conservation Commission, Robert Fritz, Inc, Rock River Preservation, Elaine Lambert Living Trust, State of VT Department of Environmental Conservation’s LaRosa Environmental Testing Laboratory, & Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC).
E. coli results charts and accompanying commentaries will appear at www.ibrattleboro.com (Nature section) every 2 weeks through the monitoring season. For more information about SeVWA’s monitoring program sites and results and other Connecticut River watershed water quality and recreational information, please visit www.ctriver.us.
|SeVWA E. coli Results Chart 8-31-16.pdf||375.99 KB|