Mad River Watch volunteers collected water samples from 36 sites throughout the watershed early Monday morning. Results show no sites were in violation of Vermont water quality standards for recreational waters. The standard measures E.coli bacteria, which is found when there is fecal contamination present. High E.coli levels in water indicate the likelihood of high levels of water-borne pathogens, which can sicken swimmers. The Vermont Department of Health’s current standard for E.coli is 235 colonies per 100 ml sample.
The volume of water flowing in the river was high and declining when the samples were collected. A rain storm brought the water flow (as measured at the stream gage in Moretown) a peak of 3,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Sunday afternoon. At the time of sampling, the flow had declined to approximately 630 cfs, while the median flow for this date is 45 cfs. Generally, E.coli levels rise as rain washes pollutants in to the river, and then fall again as the flow declines and the water becomes clearer.Many thanks to our hard working and dedicated volunteer lab coordinator Cyndee Button, and also to our cadre of dedicated volunteer sample collectors. Volunteers this week include: Chase Fortier, Fran & Gary Plewak, Dave Gould, Mike Ware, Ann Felderman, and Susy Deane.