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08.11.08 Mad River Watch Finds No Sites in Violation of VT Water Quality Standards
By: friendv3 (friendv3) 2008.08.15

Water samples taken by Friends of the Mad River (FMR) volunteers on Monday morning August 11th show no sites tested were in violation of Vermont’s water quality standards for E.coli.  The state water quality standard for recreational waters measures E. coli bacteria, an indicator of pollution from human or animal waste (no more than 77 colonies per 100 mL water).  High E.coli levels can pose a danger to swimmers since the presence of fecal borne pathogens is likely.

**Click here to see all results from August 11**

At the time of sampling there were relatively low E.coli levels, probably due to the continuous flushing effect of rain in the past few weeks, which has washed most of the pollution downstream. The volume of water flowing in the Mad River was high and steady at the time of sampling.   Moderate to heavy rains have been persistent in the area for several weeks prior to sampling, with very little dry weather. At the time of sampling, the water level at the US Geologic Survey station in Moretown was at approximately 500 cubic feet per second, which is well above the median value for this date (51 cubic feet per second).

Although E.coli levels were found to be low at the time of sampling, swimming conditions could still be potentially dangerous due to the continuing high water levels.  Throughout New England several people have been swept away and drowned in recent weeks due to high water levels and swift currents.

Considering the incredibly wet weather of late, another thing to be aware of is your septic system.  Sodden ground may impair the function of your septic system, so homeowners are advised to be aware of water use; minimizing water use generally and planning the use of water intensive appliances is advised.

For more information about E. coli and the Mad River Watch program, or to report a river-related illness call 496-9127.  Thanks to this week’s Mad River Watch volunteers; samplers this week included:  Michael Ware, Cathy & Barry Glick, Patti Greene-Swift, Elizabeth Walker, and Caitrin Noel.  Many thanks to Kinny Perot for posting the results at various sites and to Cyndee Button for her work in the lab.

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