By LRWP Water Quality 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. On Thursdays we collect water quality samples at 6 non-bathing public access beaches along the Raritan River, and report the results on Friday afternoons. This week, water quality tests show pathogens levels below EPA federal water quality standards all of our sites! Pathogens/Enterococci “colony forming units” (CFUs) are measured and used as indicators of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria in recreational waters. Suitable levels for primary contact should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL. Although our results show pathogen levels under federal water quality standards for cleaner levels of water, please recreate on the river at your own risk and always be sure to wash your hands. Pathogens may pose health risks to people fishing and swimming in a water body. More information about our pathogens program is on our water quality monitoring webpage.
We’d also like to share a new map we’ve been working on to help improve the understanding of the water flow through the watershed. In the coming weeks, we will be integrating our bacteria findings into our new map. Special thanks to Brenda Allen for developing the map and providing this “sneak preview”.
Many thanks to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate
Environmental Commission for their partnership, and to our monitoring volunteers!