Mad River Watch volunteers collected water samples throughout the watershed on Monday morning August 26<sup>th</sup>; this is the last Mad River Watch sampling date for the season. Results show favorable swimming conditions at all locations. Vermont’s water quality standard for recreational waters measures E. coli bacteria, an indicator of pollution from human or animal waste and the potential presence of disease-causing organisms. The Vermont Health Department just revised the standard this year up to the EPA standard of 235 colonies E.coli per 100 mL water. None of thirty-six sites tested were in violation of the standard.
With dry weather as the prevailing influence over the past week, intermixed with showers and rain, the Mad River had fallen to approximately 67 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the time of sampling, slightly above the median flow for this date of 48 cfs. As expected, the dry weather resulted in low E.coli readings throughout the watershed. When the weather is dry, river levels remain low, and since pollutants are not being washed into the river by rain, the E.coli levels also remain low. Mad River Watch data shows that when it rains and the river rises, E. coli levels also rise, and remain higher until the water level lessens.
For more information about E. coli and the Mad River Watch program, or to report a river-related illness call Friends of the Mad River at 496-9127 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please consider supporting Mad River Watch by making a membership contribution; visit www.FriendsoftheMadRiver.org to join and make a secure online donation.
Many thanks to volunteer lab coordinator Cyndee Button and to this week’s Mad River Watch volunteers: Michael Ware, Dave Gould, Gary & Fran Plewak, Chase Fortier and Susy Deane. Also thanks to Ken and Ann Felderman for posting the results at local swim holes.