Tag: pathogens

Lower Raritan Pathogens Monitoring Results for August 7, 2020

The LRWP and EARTH Center of Middlesex County monitors for Fecal Coliform and Enterococcus at six non-swimming public beach access sites along the Lower Raritan during the warmer summer months. Fecal Coliform and Enterococcus are indicators of disease-causing bacteria in our waterways.

The EPA recommends that a single Enterococcus sample be less than 110 Colony Forming Units (CFU)/100mL for primary contact. 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. 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. Enterococci levels are often high after heavy or consistent rainfall.

Please note that these results for August 6, 2020 are preliminary and awaiting Quality Control:

Field observations for 8.6.2020

Waters were running high and fast during monitoring, due in part to remnant stormwater flow from Tropical Storm Isiasis which started its destruction in New Jersey on August 4, knocking out power for 1.4 million state residents. Isiais pummeled the Lower Raritan as well, and the River looked like chocolate milk at our Piscataway, New Brunswick and Edison sites. We observed a fair amount of flotsam in the water, and a few islands of accumulating logs and trash.

Our monitoring crew, with fisherfolk in the background
(photo: Renee Skelton)
In Perth Amboy, folks were out on the beach picnicking and fishing, despite active discharge from the Combined Sewer Overflow just 20 feet away.
(photo: Renee Skelton)

Summer 2020 Lower Raritan Watershed Monitoring Sites

The New Jersey state Department of Environmental Protection and Middlesex County Health Departments typically monitor at sanctioned public swimming beach sites. They do not monitor the water quality for pathogens at public access non-swimming beach sites along the Raritan, despite regular use of these areas for primary contact (fishing and swimming) by members of our urban communities.

The LRWP works with in partnership with the Interstate Environmental Commission for lab analysis of our samples. We have a Quality Assurance Protocol Plan (QAPP) approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. We work to report our results as soon as lab analysis is completed.

2019 Water Quality Findings & Next Steps

Join the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership at the May meeting of the Middlesex County Water Resources Association for a presentation on 2019 Water Quality Monitoring Findings and Next Steps for 2020!

Monday May 11, 1:30-3:30 pm. We will meet in the Middlesex County Administration Building, Freeholder Meeting Room

75 Bayard Street / New Brunswick, NJ  08901

More details to follow.

April 20 Bacteria Monitoring Workshop – Virtual Training

NEEDED!! Volunteer Water Quality Monitors to assist with bacteria monitoring during Summer 2020

WHAT: Virtual Training Workshop for Water Quality Sampling and Bacteria Monitoring

WHEN: Monday April 20, 4:30-6:30 PM

WHERE: Online! (…the comfort of your own home)

WHY: Every Thursday from mid-May through the end of September the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County will be in the field taking water samples from five public access (non-bathing, fishing, and recreational) sites along our Raritan River. We need volunteers to help us with this important work!

Volunteers will help project coordinators with sample collection, sample preparation and delivery, and analysis. See here for more info on our monitoring program.

Raritan River Monitoring via Facebook Live!

Want to know how citizen scientists take action to monitor the health of our waterways? Want to learn about the Raritan River and the tools and techniques used to gauge bacteria levels at sites along the Raritan River? Please join the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County (RCE) for a “Facebook Live” event when we will demonstrate how we gather data and other information on water quality for public access sites along the tidal portions of the Raritan River.

We are designing the event for classroom engagement, and welcome student questions! We anticipate the program to run 45 minutes – 1 hour.

We will build the event schedule around registrant demand. Once you have registered, project coordinators will reach out to you with more details.

For more on our Summer 2019 Pathogens Monitoring Program.

This project is supported through grants from the Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC) and Rutgers’ Sustainable Raritan River Initiative (SRRI).

August 15, 2019 Raritan River monitoring results

Raritan River Enterococci results for 8.15.2019, for six non-swimming beach public access sites. Enterococci results are reported in Colony Forming Units or CFUs. Suitable levels for enterococci should not exceed 104cfu/100mL.

**Please note: these results are preliminary and awaiting Quality Control.**

July 11, 2019 Raritan River Pathogens Report

Water quality (Enterococci) results are in for Thursday, July 11 for six non-swimming beach public access sites along the Raritan River. See here for more information on our Summer 2019 monitoring program.

Enterococci results are reported in Colony Forming Units or CFUs. 
Suitable levels should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL.

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. 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. Enterococci levels are often high after heavy or consistent rainfall.

Huge thanks to our the EARTH Center of Middlesex County, to Jesse Stratowski and his team at the Rutgers Boathouse, and to our wonderful volunteers.

**Please note: these results are preliminary and awaiting Quality Control.**

Raritan River pathogens results for July 2, 2019

Happy July 4!

Our team conducted pathogens (enterococci) monitoring of six Raritan River public access sites a bit early this week so as to report out in time for the holiday weekend. We are very happy to report that with a few exceptions (Piscatway and Perth Amboy), our numbers look pretty good!

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. We take the samples to the Interstate Environmental Commission for processing, and then report out results via our website, twitter, and facebook. See the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership website for a map of our sites, and for more information on our monitoring program.

Enterococci results are reported in Colony Forming Units or CFUs. 
Suitable levels should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL.

The Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership is grateful to our EARTH Center of Middlesex County partners, to the Interstate Environmental Commission for lab analysis, to the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative for providing grant support, to Jesse Stratowski and his team at the Rutgers Boathouse, and of course to our wonderful volunteers!

**Please note: these results are preliminary and awaiting Quality Control**

Raritan River Pathogen Results for June 20, 2019

Many thanks to volunteers who dedicate their Thursdays to sampling for fecal coliform and enterococci at six non-swimming beach public access sites along the Raritan River. See here for more information on our Summer 2019 monitoring program.

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. 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. Enterococci levels are often high after heavy or consistent rainfall.

Enterococci results are reported in Colony Forming Units or CFUs.  Enterococci results are reported in Colony Forming Units or CFUs. 
Suitable levels should not exceed 104 cfu/100mL.
Enterococcus results, times  and coordinates for June 20, 2019:

Site Name Enterococcus
(CFU)
Fecal Coliform
(CFU)
Riverside Park,
Piscataway
4600 4400
Rutgers Boathouse,
New Brunswick
2500 2400
Edison Boathouse 2800 2000
Ken Buchannan
Waterfront Park,
Sayreville
5200 3100
South Amboy
Waterfront Park
900 5500
2nd Street Park,
Perth Amboy
2000 7000

“TNTC” is an abbreviation for “Too Numerous To Count.” These results are preliminary and awaiting Quality Control.

Volunteers Wanted for Summer 2019 Bacteria Monitoring on the Lower Raritan!

The Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County seek civic science volunteers to assist with the Summer 2019 “Citizen Science Monitoring for Pathogens Indicators on the Raritan River.” This program will run every Thursday from May 23 to September 26. Volunteers will travel with a monitoring team to capture water quality samples at sites along the Raritan River, followed by a trip to the NEIWPCC lab in Staten Island to assist with preparation of samples for analysis. A 2 hour training is required, after which the Project Team would like volunteers to commit to assisting with at least five (5) sampling events throughout Summer 2019.

The first training will be on Thursday May 9, 1-3:30 PM at the EARTH Center of Middlesex County. Registration required.

This project will allow us to gather data and other information on water quality for six public access sites along the tidal portions of the Raritan River at locations considered non-bathing beaches. In addition to capturing water samples at each of the six public access sites, volunteers will have the opportunity to go to the NEIWPCC’s lab on Staten Island to learn how samples are processed for monitoring.

We will monitor non-bathing beach sites with active kayak/canoe launches and/or fishing and other primary contact activities that are not regularly monitored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection or the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services and lack sufficient water quality data.

Bacteria data will be reported in “real-time” on Friday afternoons to allow Lower Raritan residents and others to make informed decisions about their on-water recreation activities for the weekend.

The Project will also allow for development of civic science and expanded volunteer environmental monitoring programming within the Lower Raritan Watershed and Middlesex County, NJ. Working with an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) will allow for data generated from this project to inform water quality policy and regulatory decisions at all levels of government (state, federal, local) within the project area, and to educate the public.

Water quality monitoring sampling will directly inform public access decision-making for six (6) diverse Lower Raritan Watershed municipalities (see site map below). These sites include:

  1. Riverside Park (Piscataway)
  2. Rutgers Boathouse at Boyd Park (New Brunswick)
  3. Edison Basin Boat Launch (Edison Township)
  4. Ken Buchanan Riverfront Park (Sayreville)
  5. Raritan Bay Waterfront Park (South Amboy)
  6. 2nd Street / Brighton Avenue Beach (Perth Amboy)

Sites were chosen to inform decision-making about access and use, to aid understanding of municipal stormwater and sewage flows, and to inform current and future landuse planning and restoration efforts. Sites include the following known activities: 1) launch sites for personal non-motorized watercraft (sites 1-5); 2) fishing (sites 2-6); 3) birding hotspots (site 5); 4) crabbing (sites 2,4,5,6); 5) proximate to Combined Sewer Overflow (site 6); 6) unofficial bathing activity (sites 2,5,6); 7) collegiate watersport competition (site 2).

Generous support for equipment and data analysis is provided by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

Seeking Civic Science Water Quality Monitors!

The LRWP is excited to be a part of “Citizen Science Monitoring for Pathogen Indicators in the NY-NJ Harbor” – a grant secured by NY-NJ Baykeeper to monitor local waters for pathogens in Raritan Bay. Funding for training and sample analysis is provided by the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program. Volunteers are needed for summer monitoring, with training to start in May.

Volunteer civic scientists from the LRWP and Bayshore Regional Watershed Council will help the NY-NJ Baykeeper collect water samples this summer at sites along the shores of Raritan Bay & Sandy Hook Bay. The LRWP and Raritan Riverkeeper will coordinate sampling at the three sites in Perth Amboy identified in this map. Bayshore Regional will cover the remaining sites. Training will start in May and will involve field, lab and data management procedures. We will follow strict quality assurance and quality control procedures approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Our goals with this project are to generate high quality, credible data on the health of our waterways, suitable for a wide variety of users. This information can help government agencies and the public make decisions about water quality improvements, habitat restoration, and recreational use. Volunteer monitors will gain important science skills and experiences while strengthening their connection with, and care of, local resources.

We need volunteers (YOU!!!) to help. Do you have time this summer to collect water samples so we can learn about our River? Do you want to gain a new perspective on the Raritan and have a lot of fun? Do you want to take your environmental stewardship to a new level?

To volunteer please e-mail Heather hfenyk AT lowerraritanwatershed DOT org

(This opportunity is an especially good resume builder – perfect for college students!)

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