Sampling results from the second round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch Program show no sites with unfavorable swimming conditions as of Monday morning. It has been dry and the river has been dropping since the June strawberry moon marked the last substantial rain event. Prior to Monday’s sampling, sediments and pollutants from the land into the river and streams had likely already flushed through the watershed and onto the Winooski River and Lake Champlain.
The flow condition of the Mad River at the time of sampling Monday morning was low and steady (LS), measuring approximately 47 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the USGS flow gage in Moretown. The flow peaked at only 137 cfs on June 22 and the river, with very little precipitation since, has been lower and lower. The median flow for this date is 230 cfs, so the river is well below normal for this time of year.
Remember that rains can cause E. coli levels to fluctuate, even on a daily basis, as water carrying pathogens moves down the watershed. FMR’s E. coli sampling results are only a snapshot in time intended to give you a sense of the conditions that lead to high pathogen levels in the water so you can be informed. You are your best protector - use common sense and don't swim for several days after a rain. It is estimated that at the level of 235 colonies E.coli per 100 mL water, approximately 8 out of every 1,000 swimmers are likely to contract a water borne illness related to fecal contamination.
Many thanks to this week’s Mad River Watch volunteers: Charlie Baldwin, Richard Czaplinski, Susy Deane, Annie & Hazel Macmillan, Kinny Perot, Fran & Gary Plewak, and Michael Ware. Thanks to Susanne and George Schaefer who drove water samples to the DEC’s lab in Burlington for phosphorus, nitrogen, and turbidity analysis and to Sally Boudreau for posting data at swimholes across the watershed. The Mad River Watch Program would not be possible without these dedicated volunteers! Thanks also to Paula Baldwin who took over the helm as Lab Coordinator this year.
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June 27 Data Available Here