From Ryan O'Donnell Water Quality Program Manager Connecticut River Conservancy 15 Bank Row | Greenfield, MA 01301 (413) 834-9939 | email@example.com
The fourth scheduled monitoring day for the southeastern Vermont region was Wednesday, July 26th. We skipped our third testing date due to the severe flooding in the region and a few sites remain inaccessible at this time. We may schedule one additional date to make up for the missed data.
Volunteers collected samples that were tested for E. coli bacteria. E. coli is a bacteria found in the guts of all warm- blooded animals, including humans and is used as an indicator to test water for fecal contamination. The EPA recommends against primary contact (fully immersing in the water, i.e. swimming) when there are more than 235 organisms/100 mL water. Bacteria levels are often elevated after heavy rains due to bacteria being carried into nearby rivers by runoff. Because of this, we note whether results are from wet or dry weather sampling events.
There was once again significant rainfall in the 24 hours before sampling. Despite this, bacteria levels were relatively low throughout the region. During extended periods of precipitation, runoff may carry less bacteria into nearby waterbodies and larger volumes of water dilute the bacteria that is in the streams. Many of these streams are still experiencing the impacts of severe flooding and may not be safe for recreating in regardless of bacteria levels. Soils remain saturated so that any rain greatly affects water levels, septic and sewer systems or other infrastructure may be damaged and leaking into nearby water bodies, debris is still moving down river, and safety mechanisms at dams may be missing or broken. Please use extreme caution in deciding where to recreate in this region's rivers.
Please use these and historic sampling results to help make informed decisions about when and where to recreate more safely. You can also reduce the risk of waterborne illness by avoiding getting water in your mouth, cover any open wounds, and washing hands before eating and drinking after recreating in natural waters.
See these results and more from throughout the Connecticut River watershed at www.ctriver.org/isitclean