A swimmingly fine week

  • Published in News

Sampling results from the third round of Friends of the Mad River’s 2018 Mad River Watch water quality monitoring show no sites with unfavorable E. coli levels as of Monday morning, July 9. After many very hot sunny days last week, the light rain on Friday likely washed some pollutants off the landscape and into the water and downstream prior to Monday's sampling. 

The river's discharge (volume per second) came down from 219 cubic feet per second (cfs) Friday evening to reach 47.9 cfs on Monday morning at the U.S. Geological Service flow gage in Moretown. The mean flow for this date in the last 89 years is 128 cfs, so the water continues to be lower than usual for this time of year. The flow condition of the Mad River at the time of sampling Monday morning was low and steady (LS). 

Remember that rains can cause E. coli levels to fluctuate, even on a daily basis, as water carrying pathogens moves down the watershed. FMR’s E. coli sampling results are only a snapshot in time intended to give people a sense of the conditions that lead to high pathogen levels 

“You are your best protector -- use common sense and don't swim for several days after a rain. It is estimated that at the level of 235 colonies E. coli per 100 mL water, approximately eight out of every 1,000 swimmers are likely to contract a waterborne illness related to fecal contamination,” said Friends of the Mad River executive director Corrie Miller.

This week’s volunteers included Charlie Baldwin, Sally Boudreau, Lindsay Browning, Susy Deane, Annie and Jula Fender, Jen Higgins and Emmett Stowell, Hazel Macmillan, Susanne and George Schaefer, Michael Ware, and Julie and Ingrid Westervelt. The lab coordinator is Paula Baldwin. 

For more information about E. coli and the Mad River Watch program visit www.FriendsoftheMadRiver.org. Throughout the summer, Mad River Watch results will be available in The Valley Reporter, on Facebook (Friends of the Mad River), and on signposts at swim holes across The Valley. Friends of the Mad River is a community-supported organization committed to healthy land, clean water and a vibrant community.