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Intermittent Rains Call for Good Judgement!
By: Corrie (friendv3) 2016.07.12

Sampling results from the third round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch Program show no sites with unfavorable swimming conditions as of Monday morning. After a weekend of intermittent and scattered showers, the water on Monday morning at the time of sampling was declining. 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 high and declining (HD), measuring approximately 201 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the USGS flow gage in Moretown. The flow peaked at 228 cfs on Sunday evening at around 9:15. This “high” flow level is relative to the normal this time of year. The median flow for this date is 140 cfs.

Remember that rains can cause E. coli levels to fluctuate, even on an hourly 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 and your good judgement are your best protector - use common sense and don't swim for at least 24 hours after a substantive 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, Chase Fortier, 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.

The river connects our Mad River Valley community and its clean water is a measure of our success as stewards of the land. For more information about E. coli and the Mad River Watch program and to view our most recent complete data report please visit the Friends of the Mad River website at Results are also available on Facebook (“Friends of the Mad River”) and on sign posts at swimholes across the Valley. Friends is a community-supported organization, and depends on the generous contributions of its members to continue the Mad River Watch and other important programs.

If you appreciate the information we provide, please consider becoming a member or donating here.

July 11 Data Available Here

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