Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance’s (SeVWA’s) water quality monitoring program was begun about 10 years ago. At that time, the organization was known as West River Watershed Alliance (WRWA). This past Wednesday, July 17th, was our third 2013 river sampling day.
Thankfully the weather had calmed down a bit in comparison to our last sampling day two weeks before – though the temperatures have been extremely high. The hot, dry spell has the rivers back to more normal levels and it has also influenced most of our sampling locations’ E. coli numbers to be at acceptable levels for swimming and/or boating. There were a few sites on the Williams and Saxtons Rivers that were just above the 235 E. coli per 100 ml. standard.
Please see the accompanying charts for the West River watershed and Whetstone Brook, and the Williams and Saxtons Rivers’ sites’ E. coli results.
The acceptable E. coli numbers are great news for everyone eager to cool off in our area’s rivers. As we all partake in the enjoyment of this precious natural resource, it’s important for each of us to take-on the responsibility to keep our rivers and their wonderful swimming holes clean. A good practice to promote at our monitoring sites and other river sites is “Carry-in/Carry-out” or “Leave No Trace.” When bringing something with you to the river, bring it back home with you. Or, as I have been known to do, throw it on the floor of my car to be dealt with later. Either way, it’s not in our rivers and streams or on their banks! Litter is not only displeasing to look at, it can be harmful to critters, including people, in and out of the river.
As the current heat wave comes to an end, we’re expecting some severe thunderstorms. Although the storms will bring some much needed relief from the heat, they can also bring heavy rains which may carry more E. coli and other bacteria back into the river. Remember that it is generally a good idea to wait 24-48 hours after significant rainfall before swimming in the river to avoid waterborne illness.
SeVWA’s water quality monitoring program (WQMP) will run through August 28th this year and the program’s E. coli results will be available every 2 weeks, typically by the Friday following the Wednesday sampling session. Future 2013 sampling dates are July 31, August 14 and August 28.Please post the attached E. coli results charts in your communities where folks will see them. If you have a local news publication also submit the chart and this commentary to them for posting/publishing and provide to your town’s conservation commission.
SeVWA’s water quality monitoring program (WQMP) is supported by SeVWA volunteers, members and donors, including Chroma Technology Group and Village Square Booksellers, State of VT Department of Environmental Conservation’s LaRosa Environmental Testing Laboratory, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters & 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.Information provided by Ryan O’Donnell, SeVWA WQMP summer intern and Laurie Callahan, SeVWA WQMP Committee; Contact SeVWA WQMP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SeVWA website – https://sites.google.com/site/vtsevwa/