Author: Jocelyn Palomino

Raritan Pathogen Results for 09.29.2022

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 beach sites along the Raritan River, provide our samples to the Interstate Environmental Commission for analysis in their laboratory, and report the results to the public on Friday afternoons. 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.

Our lab results for water quality samples taken on September 29, 2022 show that Enterococcus bacteria levels do not exceed the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at any of our sites this week! Problem sites are normally indicated by red frowns on the map and chart, but the green smiles represent sites with bacteria levels below the federal standard for recreation including: Riverside Park (Piscataway), Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick), Edison Boat Ramp and Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Edison), 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. 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. Such pathogens may pose health risks to people fishing and swimming in a water body. Please note: disease causing pathogens may be present in local waters even if lab results indicate levels below state or federal thresholds. If you choose to recreate on the Raritan, be safe and wash thoroughly after all activities.

Many thanks to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate Environmental Commission for their partnership, and to our team of volunteers who came out this week! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

Our team for this week geared up for the chilly morning we had on Thursday, Photo Credit: Andrew Gehman

While at the Rutgers Boat House, we encountered some folks who were fishing recreationally and caught some big ones as we did our sampling, Photo Credits: Frank Dahl

Volunteer Frank Dahl at the Edison Boat Basin completing a field observation datasheet to collect data on the environmental conditions and recreational activities at the time of sampling, Photo Credits: Jocelyn Palomino

Julisa Collado took charge of using our monitoring equipment this week at our sampling sites, Photo Credits: Jocelyn Palomino

At our South Amboy site, Jocelyn had to endure some strong waves to reach our weekly sampling point, Photo Credits: Julisa Collado

Raritan Pathogen Results for 09.22.2022

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 beach sites along the Raritan River, provide our samples to the Interstate Environmental Commission for analysis in their laboratory, and report the results to the public on Friday afternoons. 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.

After receiving about 0.25 inches of rain on Wednesday, lab results for water quality samples taken on Thursday, September 22, 2022 show Enterococcus bacteria levels that exceed the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at our three most upstream sites. Problem sites are indicated by red frowns on the map and chart and include Riverside Park (Piscataway), Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick), and the Edison Boat Ramp (Edison). The green smiles represent sites with Enterococcus bacteria levels below the federal standard for recreation and include Ken Buchanan (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. 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. 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, please do so safely and be sure to wash thoroughly after all activities!

Many thanks to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate Environmental Commission for their partnership, and to our team of volunteers who came out this week! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

Frank Dahl came out to volunteer with the monitoring team again this week, as pictured here completing a field observation sheet with the overcast sky behind him at our Piscataway site, Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino

Another dedicated volunteer of the program, Andrew Gehman, captured here collecting samples from the Rutgers Boat Dock, Photo Credits: Jocelyn Palomino

This week, we observed dozens of fish kill at our Edison and Sayreville sites likely from the low levels of dissolved oxygen we recorded, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

Frank was eager to wade into the water at our South Amboy site this week, he wanted to take samples from the River before the end of the season, Photo Credits: Jocelyn Palomino

Raritan Pathogens Results for 9.15.2022

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 beach sites along the Raritan River, provide our samples to the Interstate Environmental Commission for analysis in their laboratory, and report the results to the public on Friday afternoons. 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.

Lab results for water quality samples taken on September 15, 2022 show Enterococcus bacteria levels that exceed the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at a majority of our monitoring sites. Problem sites are indicated by red frowns on the map and chart and include Riverside Park (Piscataway), the Edison Boat Ramp (Edison), Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Sayreville), and 2nd St. Park (Perth Amboy). The green smiles represent sites with Enterococcus bacteria levels below the federal standard for recreation and include Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick) and South Amboy Waterfront Park (South Amboy).

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 plants, 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, please do so safely and be sure to wash thoroughly after all activities!

Many thanks to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate Environmental Commission for their partnership, and to our team of volunteers who came out this week! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

Welcome to the LRWP’s new Raritan Scholar intern Jonathan Kim! Volunteer Frank Dahl showed Jonathan how to fill out the data forms. Photo Credit: Andrew Gehman

Andrew Gehman multi-tasked while in the water collecting samples – YSI in one hand, camera in the other taking photos of our beach-based monitoring team! Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

Frank returned the favor and captured Andrew in action while he held the YSI in place so we could document real-time data of the water , Photo Credits: Frank Dahl

Raritan Pathogen Results from 09.08.2022

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. Water quality results for September 8, 2022 for two of our sites suggest exceedance of federal EPA threshold for Enterococci at two of our sites: Riverside Park (Piscataway) and Edison Boathouse (Edison). This is indicated by the red frowns on the map – primary contact with waters at these locations is not recommended. The “green smileys” represent the sites with pathogen levels that are below the standard for primary contact recreation: Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick), Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Edison), South Amboy Waterfront Park (South Amboy), and 2nd St. Park (Perth Amboy).

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. As always, 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 great group of volunteers! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

A great picture of Cristian Sanlatte from Fahrenfeld Lab and Michele Bakacs from Rutgers Cooperative Extension monitoring the beautiful Riverside Park, Photo Credit: Andrew Gehman

Andrew Gehman and our crew posing at the Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park , Photo Credits: Michele Bakacs

While our crew finished the post-calibration of the monitoring equipment before handing off the samples. Raritan Riverkeeper Bill Schultz pulled up to chat with the team , Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

August 18, 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 beach sites 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 pathogen results for August 18, 2022 suggests two of our upstream sites exceed federal water quality standard for recreation, represented by the red frowns on the map and chart: Riverside Park (Piscataway) and Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick). The “green smileys” for all other the sites mean Enterococcus bacteria levels are below the EPA federal standard for recreation at these locations: Edison Boathouse, Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Edison), South Amboy Waterfront Park (South Amboy), and 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy).

Suitable levels for primary contact should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL. Per the EPA’s federal water quality standard for CFU primary contact, Pathogens/Enterococci levels are used as indicators of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria in recreational waters. 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. Such pathogens may pose health risks to people fishing and swimming in a water body.

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

The low tide at Rutgers Boathouse allowed us to observe a small herd of deer wandering along the river bank, Photo Credits: Genevieve Ehasz
This week’s monitoring crew working together at the Edison Boat Launch, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman
The team gathered data while on a messy dock at our Ken Buchanan Site, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

Captured one of our amazing volunteers Andrew Gehman wading into our monitoring site in Perth Amboy (2nd St. Park), Photo Credits: Genevieve Ehasz

August 11, 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 beach sites 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.

After weeks of dry conditions and intense heat we finally received 0.37 inches of rain Thursday morning just before our volunteer sampling. The “first flush” of rain after a dry spell typically washes a lot of muck off our land surfaces and into our waters, and we often see higher bacterial levels. This is the case this week for our August 11, 2022 samples, which show our most upstream and downstream sites exceeding the EPA federal quality standard for primary contact, indicated by the red frowns on the map and chart: Riverside Park (Piscataway) and 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy). The “green smileys” represent the sites with pathogen levels that are below the standard for recreation: Rutgers Boathouse (New Brunswick), Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Edison), South Amboy Waterfront Park (South Amboy).

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 plants, 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. As always, if you choose to recreate on the Raritan this weekend, stay safe and please be sure to wash your hands!

Many thanks to our partners, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate Environmental Commission, and to our great group of volunteers! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

Spotted two Great Blue Herons flying across the Raritan while we sampled at our Rutgers Boathouse site, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

While the group was monitoring at our Edison site, Frank Dahl spoke to a friendly local we often encounter cleaning up trash left behind at the docks, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

Genevieve Ehasz took the opportunity to collect goose poop samples for Farhenfeld Lab while the monitoring team was at the Ken Buchanan Boat Launch in Sayreville, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

Cristian Sanlatte volunteered to wade into our Perth Amboy site to collect data using our YSI monitoring instrument, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

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

July 28, 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 on Friday afternoons. Our water quality results for July 28, 2022 indicate high levels of Enterococcus at both our most upstream site at Riverside Park in Piscataway, and at our most downstream site at Perth Amboy 2nd Street Park. These are indicated by red frowns on the map and chart.

The “green smileys” on the map and chart for all other sites mean pathogen levels were below the federal quality standard for recreation at these locations. 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 plants, 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 be sure to wash your hands!

As always, many thanks to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and Interstate Environmental Commission for their partnership, and to our great group of volunteers this week! See here for more information on our pathogens monitoring program.

Our volunteers Frank and Julisa helping Jocelyn document observations at our Piscataway monitoring site, Photo Credit: Andrew Gehman

At our Piscataway and Rutgers locations, we noticed algal blooms, a sign of warmer summer temperatures, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

It appears that some younger residents were out enjoying the South Amboy Waterfront over the week, leaving a small sandcastle along the path to our monitoring location, Photo Credits: Andrew Gehman

Our volunteer Andrew was able to capture this photo of our monitoring crew near the Perth Amboy CSO, while he was out in the water catching samples, Photo Credit: Andrew Gehman

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