Bacteria days: results for August 23, 2018

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers ended the 2018 bacteria sampling season with 100% sampling at 100% of the eleven sites on the Merrimack River from Franklin to Bow and on the Pemigewasset, Winnipesaukee, and Contoocook Rivers.

The good news is that the City of Franklin’s work around Site 1 seems to be keeping bacteria counts low. We plan to continue confirmation monitoring at Site 1 through the fall.

The not-so-good-news: there is no not-so-good-news. All eleven sites are below the Class B designed use standard of 406 colonies of E. coli.

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 172.3
2 Winnipesaukee 290.9
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 98.8
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 156.5
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 214.3
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 365.4
7 Contoocook at Rivco 396.8
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 248.1
9 Merrimack Manchester St 137.6
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 201.4
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 108.1

You’ll hear from us again ext year when we begin our new sampling season. This program would not be possible without our amazing site monitors, couriers who drive samples from Concord to Franklin, the Franklin Waste Water Treatment Plant who processes all of the samples at no cost to our volunteer program, and our generous Adopt-a-River Site Sponsors, who provide volunteer support and financial donations to allow us to purchase equipment and supplies.

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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