The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had its second day of its monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, July 7th. Volunteers will be collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams and will continue to do so every other week through the end of August. This year, we have 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.
Much of our sampling area is experiencing a moderate drought (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?northeast) so it is the perfect time to practice conserving water to protect our lakes and streams as well as the groundwater sources that feed those streams (and our wells). New England is generally considered a water rich region and we are expected to receive more precipitation, particularly rain, as climate change progresses. Even so, we are not immune to dry spells as this year has showed us so far. In addition to conserving water when conditions are dry, it is also important to be especially cautious while using fire outdoors.
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 Vermont’s waters.
The days leading up to July 7th were quite dry and only a few 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.
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.
Thanks again for all you do to support SeVWA's monitoring program and for your interest.
|SeVWA E Coli Results Chart 7-6-16.pdf||378.5 KB|