Pathogens Monitoring Results 5.27.2021

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

For those of you making plans to be on the Raritan, see below for pathogens sampling results for six non-bathing public access beach sites for yesterday, May 27/2021. (See here for more on our pathogens monitoring program).

Enterococci results are reported in Colony Forming Units or CFUs. Suitable levels for primary contact should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL. Please note that while the numbers look good for our Edison, Sayreville, South Amboy and Perth Amboy sites, we have received significant rainfall since sampling, which typically increases bacteria loading into our waters. Pathogens/Enterococci levels are used as indicators of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria in recreational waters. Such pathogens may pose health risks to people fishing and swimming in a water body. Sources of bacteria include Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), improperly functioning wastewater treatment plants, stormwater runoff, leaking septic systems, animal carcasses, and runoff from manure storage areas.

Huge thanks to our partners: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

Field Notes:

What a beautiful day to kick off monitoring for 2021! We were joined in the field by our new Project Coordinator Jocelyn Palomino, project interns Jason Acevedo and Julisa Collado, Jessica Bonamusa from the Interstate Environmental Commission, and Stan Stephenson with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The smell of sewage at our first site, Riverside Park in Piscataway, tipped us off to problems there. An overwhelming smell of dead fish greeted us upon arrival at the Edison Boat Launch site. See our youtube video of waves of dead fish washing up on shore and in the reeds.

The Edison, Sayreville and South Amboy sites were busy with boating activity. Almost two dozen boat trailers were parked at the Ken Buchanan Boat Ramp in Sayreville, and we waved to folks on jet skis in the water there.

Please enjoy the Raritan safely! Be sure to wash thoroughly with soap and hot water after any contact with our waters.

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