Bacteria days: results for August 10, 2017

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers continue to produce 100% sampling at 100% of the eleven sites on the Merrimack River from Franklin to Bow and on the Pemigewasset, Winnipesaukee, and Contoocook Rivers.

Do you remember that very high count we had at Site 6 on July 13 and then at Site 1 on July 27? We checked the sites and found nothing unusual. The results from yesterday’s sampling have returned to their normal low bacteria counts. One of our working theories for why we had bacteria spikes is that algal growth created a medium for bacteria to breed. There may have been transient animal (including human animals) activity in the area just before the samples were taken. We remain vigilant.

As a reminder,  the readings shown below are the number of E. coli bacteria colonies for every 100 millilitres of water. Warm blooded animals (including humans) all have E. coli in their guts. State designated swim beaches are not allowed to exceed 88 colonies and Class B waters (all of our sites are Class B waters) should be below 406 colonies. Here are the details.

Site number and description
1 Pemigewasset 24.3
2 Winnipesaukee 30.1
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 58.8
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 25.3
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 27.3
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 29.2
7 Contoocook at Rivco 21.6
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 42.6
9 Merrimack Manchester St 24.6
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 34.1
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 18.7

Our next and last sampling day of the season is Thursday, August 24, 2017 so you will hear from us on August 25.

If you want to be part of the Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program biomonitoring efforts, please sign-in using this form. You may learn more about the program by visiting the UMMP page or by calling 603.796.2615. We’d be happy to tell you all about it.

Thank you to our wonderful Adopt-a-River Site sponsors, sample courier, site volunteers, Adopt-a-River Site sponsors, and the crew at Franklin Waste Water Treatment Plant. There would be no Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program without them.

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You can also find us at for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C. Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor