Raritan Pathogens Results for 7.06.2023

By LRWP Monitoring Outreach Coordinator Jocelyn Palomino

The Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County run a volunteer pathogens monitoring program from May to September every summer along the Raritan River. We collect water quality samples at non-bathing public access beach sites, provide our samples to the Interstate Environmental Commission for analysis in their laboratory, and report the results to the public on Friday afternoons.

Our lab results for water quality samples taken on July 06, 2023 show Enterococcus bacteria levels exceed the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at three of our monitoring sites this week. Problem sites are indicated by red frowns on the map and chart which includes: Riverside Park (Piscataway), Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick), and Edison Boat Basin (Edison). Green smiles on the chart and map indicate sites with bacteria levels safe for recreation and includes: Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Sayreville), South Amboy Waterfront Park (South Amboy), and 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy).

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. Possible 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.

Our goal in reporting these results is to give area residents an understanding of potential health risks related to primary contact (touching) the water during water based recreation. Please remember to always wash thoroughly after all activities if you choose to recreate on the Raritan!

A few cormorants joined us on the water at Riverside Park, Photo Credit: Rose Lawless

The beautiful weather this Thursday allowed us to get some nice shots while we were sampling, Photo Credit: Rose Lawless

Our volunteers enjoy coming together every week to collect the necessary data the community needs for their weekend plans, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Piash Ahamed and Rose Lawless helping out Genevieve Ehasz who’s geared up to collect our samples at the South Amboy Waterfront, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Can you spot our team of volunteers next to this enormous crane at Perth Amboy’s 2nd St. Park? Photo Credit: Rose Lawless