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SeVWA’s 2017 E. coli Monitoring of Local Rivers Continued July 5th

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) continued its monitoring program for the summer of 2017 on Wednesday, July 5th. Volunteers will be collecting samples from 34 sites on nine rivers and streams every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Flood Brook, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Rock River, Williams River (including the Middle Branch), Saxtons River, East Putney Brook, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.
While we had great weather this week to celebrate the 4th of July, last weekend much of Vermont received heavy rains that were catastrophic in some areas. Some of our watersheds saw some street flooding and erosion while some watersheds further to our north experienced more severe flooding that damaged roads and crops. Even though the rain had ceased well before our usual 24-48 hour window of concern for elevated bacteria levels, many rivers were still experiencing high water at the time of sampling and that is reflected in the results.
Most of of our sites tested above the “suitability for swimming” standard set by the State of Vermont and the US Environmental Protection Agency this week. Because heavy rains can cause spikes in bacteria, it is generally recommended to wait 24-48 hours after a significant rainfall to resume swimming in lakes and streams.

SeVWA’s water quality monitoring program is supported by SeVWA volunteers, members and donors, including the Londonderry Conservation Commission, Robert Fritz, Inc, Rock River Preservation, Elaine Lambert Living Trust, Grafton Village Cheese Company, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation LaRosa Partnership, & Connecticut River Conservancy.

For more information about SeVWA’s monitoring program sites and results and other Connecticut River watershed water quality and recreational information, please visit

Thanks again for all you do to support SeVWA’s monitoring program and for your interest.
This information is provided by Ryan O’Donnell, SeVWA WQMP Coordinator, and Gabriel Chevalier, 2017 VT ANR intern (
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