Tag: Raritan Pathogen Results 7.20.2023

Raritan Pathogens Results for 7.20.2023

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 along the Raritan River. We collect water quality samples at 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.

With the heavy rainfall and flash flooding there was in the area all week, IEC lab results for water quality samples taken on July 20, 2023 show Enterococcus bacteria levels exceed the EPA federal water quality standard of 104 cfu/100mL at three of our upstream 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 Edison Boat Basin (Edison). Green smiles on the chart and map indicate sites with bacteria levels safe for recreation and includes: Ken Buchanan Waterfront Park (Sayreville), South Amboy Waterfront Park (South Amboy), and 2nd Street Park (Perth Amboy).

Enterococcus and Fecal Coliform 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. Possible sources of bacteria include Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), improperly functioning wastewater treatment plants, leaking septic systems.

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. Considering the high levels of fecal coliform at all of our sites, please remember to wash thoroughly after enjoying any of your weekend activities on the Raritan!

Colleen Georges spotted this little guy making his way across the boat dock, Photo Credit: Colleen Georges

From Piscataway down to Edison, we detected what appeared to be oil sheens on the surface water, Photo Credit: Rose Lawless, Colleen Georges

The team this week looked great wearing our new LRWP t-shirts while at our Sayreville site, you can find a QR code on our sleeve linked to our results page! Photo Credit: Rose Lawless

Colleen was more than ready to suit up this week and collect samples at our last two sites, thank you as always! Photo Credit: Jocelyn Palomino