Predicted Safe Swimming throughout the Watershed for Holiday Weekend
By: Corrie (friendv3) 2014.07.01

Sampling results from the second round of Friends of the Mad River’s 2014 Mad River Watch (MRW) volunteer water quality program show all swimhole sites with favorable swimming conditions and warming water temps!

One of the 36 sites – Welder Brook near Route 100B in Moretown – tested just under Vermont’s Department of Health’s water quality standard in recreational waters (235 bacteria colonies per 100 ml of water). This non-swimhole site recorded 228.2 E. coli colonies per 100 ml on June 30. Enjoy your holiday weekend and all the swimming, boating, and lounging that the Mad River has to offer!

E. coli is a type of coliform bacteria and is used as an indicator of pollution from human or animal waste and the potential presence of disease causing organisms. It is estimated that at the level of 235 colonies E.coli per 100 mL water, approximately 8 out of every 1,000 swimmers are likely to contract a water borne illness related to fecal contamination.

The flow condition of the Mad River at the time of sampling Monday morning was low and steady (LS), measuring approximately 120 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the USGS flow gage in Moretown, down from about 1,260 cfs on June 25th, after two days of heavy rain. The median flow for this date is 94 cfs. Water levels are low around the watershed, but forecast storms may increase the flow. Keep in mind with rain, runoff from the landscape enters streams and E. coli levels can rise.

Many thanks to this week’s Mad River Watch volunteers: Michael Ware, Fran & Gary Plewak, Dave Gould, Susy Deane, Sally Boudreau, Chase Fortier, and Carol Chamberlin. Also, a big thanks to Cyndee Button, our volunteer Lab Coordinator, to Sally Boudreau and Kinny Perot for posting MRW data at swimholes, and to our anonymous volunteer who drove water samples to the Burlington lab for phosphorus and turbidity analysis!  

For more information about E. coli and the Mad River Watch program, click here.

To view our most recent complete data report, click here.

Friends is a membership organization, and depends on the generous contributions of members to continue the Mad River Watch and other programs; learn how to become a member and donate securely online at our website.