Month: July 2024

Raritan Pathogens Results 7.18.2024

By LRWP Monitoring Outreach Coordinator Jocelyn Palomino

Every Thursday from May to October, the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County run a volunteer-based monitoring program along the Raritan River. During the summer, we collect water quality samples at six 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 mission is to share this data with the community and partners to ensure the safe use of the Raritan river for all.

After multiple days of precipitation and thunderstorms, our lab results for water quality samples taken on Thursday July 18, 2024 show Enterococcus bacteria levels exceeding the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at FIVE 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), Edison Boat Basin and Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Edison), and 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy). Green smiles on the chart and map indicate the sites with bacteria levels safe for recreation, and include the following: South Amboy Waterfront Park (South 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 coming in primary contact with the water (touching) through recreational activities like fishing, kayaking or 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 residents a better understanding of the potential health risks related to primary contact during water-based recreation. If you are planning on recreating on the Raritan this weekend, stay safe by properly washing up after any activities!

Cloudy skies and light rain over the Rutgers boat docks during our monitoring session this week, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Sanil Nambiar collected our samples for the week with our new and improved sampling stick that we use to retrieve our bottles, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Canadian geese were present at all of our monitoring sites Thursday morning, which was noted in our visual habitat assessment as it may have contributed to some of the fecal matter in our samples, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

With such heavy precipitation on Wednesday night, the stormwater runoff left trails on the sand of its path leading right into the water at LR5 and LR6, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Nibav helping Thulasi gear up before wading into our last site of the day, Perth Amboy’s 2nd. Street Park! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Raritan Pathogens Results 7.11.2024

By LRWP Monitoring Outreach Coordinator Jocelyn Palomino

Every Thursday from May to October, the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County run a volunteer-based monitoring program along the Raritan River. During the summer, we collect water quality samples at six 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 mission is to share this data with the community and partners to ensure the safe use of the Raritan river for all.

Our lab results for water quality samples taken on Thursday July 11, 2024 show Enterococcus bacteria levels exceeding 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 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy). Green smiles on the chart and map indicate the sites with bacteria levels safe for recreation, and include the following: Edison Boat Basin, Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Edison) and the South Amboy Waterfront Park (South 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 coming in primary contact with the water (touching) through recreational activities like fishing, kayaking or 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 residents a better understanding of the potential health risks related to primary contact during water-based recreation. If you are planning on recreating on the Raritan this weekend, make sure to stay safe and wash up after any activities!

Volunteers Nibav, Thulasi and Sanil collecting data from each other while on the docks at the Rutgers Boathouse, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Before heading to the next site, Sofi and Jocelyn picked-up trash that had been washed up at the Edison Boat Basin, Photo Credit: Sanil Nambiar

Plenty of boating activity at our monitoring sites along the Raritan this Thursday, please be sure to properly wash-up after all water-related activities for safety! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

While at the South Amboy Waterfront, we observed a large cargo ship out in the distance right behind the lighthouse- Sofi was able to get a pretty good view since she volunteered to wade in. Looking good out there Sofi! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

MANY THANKS to the volunteers who joined us this week: Nibav Velan, Thulasi Nambiar, Sanil Nambiar, and Sofi Grossman! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Raritan Pathogens Results 7.02.2024

By LRWP Monitoring Outreach Coordinator Jocelyn Palomino

Every Thursday from May to October, the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County run a volunteer-based monitoring program along the Raritan River. During the summer, we collect water quality samples at six 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 mission is to share this data with the community and partners to ensure the safe use of the Raritan river for all.

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday this Thursday, the LRWP Pathogens Monitoring team collected samples on TUESDAY July 2, 2024. Our samples taken show Enterococcus bacteria levels exceeding the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at FIVE 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) , Edison Boat Basin and Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Sayreville), and 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy). Green smiles on the chart and map indicate the sites with bacteria levels safe for recreation, and include the following: South Amboy Waterfront Park (South 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 coming in primary contact with the water (touching) through recreational activities like fishing, kayaking or swimming in a water body. If your plans for the 4th of July holiday include recreation on the Raritan, please keep these results in mind and be sure to clean up properly after all water-related activities.

Our goal in reporting these results is to give residents a better understanding of the potential health risks related to primary contact while recreating on the river. 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.

We provide this data to offer residents peace of mind when planning their weekend and summer activities on the Raritan, we hope you enjoy your Fourth of July holiday in a safe and cautious manner!!

Sanil, Shely and Art cooperating diligently at our first site of the day, LR1 Riverside Park in Piscataway. Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

The vibrant colors of the American flag blowing from the winds at the Edison Boat Basin, HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

At our Sayreville site (Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park), we got a good look of the osprey nest that rests above the power line. We often see the parents hunting for their young, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Sewa volunteer Shely Dash took her turn at wading into our downstream sites, managing both the YSI and sample catching. Thank you Shely! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Very low tides at LR6 allowed the team to witness an extreme overflow of untreated sewage directly entering the water at Perth Amboy’s 2nd. Street Park. As always, please be sure to wash up after water-related activities on the Raritan, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino