August 04, 2022 Raritan Pathogen Results

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. On Thursdays we collect water quality samples at 6 non-bathing public access beaches along the Raritan River, provide our samples to the Interstate Environmental Commission lab for analysis, and report the results for the public on Friday afternoons. Our water quality results for this Thursday August 4, 2022 indicate relatively clean levels of water at most of our sites. However, our most upstream site (Riverside Park, Piscataway) suggests the levels of Enterococcus exceed the federal standard for primary contact, indicated by the red frowns on the map and chart. The “green smileys” represent pathogen levels below the EPA’s federal quality standard for recreation.

Suitable levels for primary contact should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL. Per the EPA, Pathogens/Enterococci levels are used as indicators of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria in recreational waters. Possible sources of bacteria include Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), improperly functioning wastewater treatment ps, stormwater runoff, leaking septic systems, animal carcasses, and runoff from manure storage areas. Such pathogens may pose health risks to people fishing and swimming in a water body. If you choose to recreate on the Raritan this weekend, stay safe and please be sure to wash your hands!

Big thanks to our partners, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate Environmental Commission, and to our amazing volunteers who came out this week! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

As we arrived at our monitoring site at Rutgers, we couldn’t help but notice how low the water was despite the flood tide, Photo Credit: Andrew Gehman

Our hardworking monitoring team caught in action at the Edison Boat Launch, Photo Credits: Jocelyn Palomino

Arrived at the Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park just in time to catch a local resident using the Raritan for a solo boating trip, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

The new and improved mural at 2nd St. Park Waterfront thanks to Perth Amboy’s own students and Joel Rosa, Photo Credit: Frank Dahl