Water quality news Archive

These posts contain information about the Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program and water quality sampling results.

Well, hello, there: Bug Night #2

She was just out for a stroll on a Wednesday evening when her life changed forever.

The trail was always quiet and it gave her time to think about what was important in life. She did not have to think long. Her life had little purpose and she felt that she was not making a difference. Her existence was that of a functionary. All of the loose ends and minutiae were overwhelming. She remembered what Chekhov had said, “Any idiot can face a crisis—it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.”

“Well, hello, there,” she heard a voice say. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she did not notice the insect on the grassy knoll above her. She stopped walking and her thoughts stilled.

“Are you looking for Bug Nights?” asked the insect. The insect seemed calm and its question was intriguing.

“Bug Nights?” she asked, “What are Bug Nights?”

“Bug Nights are what make life worth living,” the insect replied, “You gather with friends, learn about body parts, are given free license to say things such as ‘anal prolegs,’ and meet new friends.”

Could it give her life purpose? Would she make a difference? Would she have something to think about on her long walks?

“How do I start?” she asked the insect.

“Follow me,” it said, and waived a long, hairy leg toward the St. Paul’s School campus.

Give your life purpose. Come to Bug Nights. We will see you on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 beginning at 6:00 PM sharp.

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.

Please visit our fresh and newly designed forum at MerrimackRiver.org/forum.
You can also find us at MerrimackRiver.org for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at UMMP@MerrimackRiver.org or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Sincerely,
                                           
Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor

Bacteria days: results for August 9, 2018

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers began the 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. This week continued that excellent trend. We have just one more sampling event left this season.

The good news is that the City of Franklin’s work around Site 1 seems to be lowering the bacteria counts: they are the third lowest of this sampling event and well within Class B standards.

The not-so-good news: Wednesday’s storm with dramatic rainfall and runoff resulted in four sites exceeding Class B standards. All but two were over Class A standards. Depending on the weather for our next event, we expect to see those levels lower than they were this week.

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 133.4
2 Winnipesaukee 920.8
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 770.1
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 387.3
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 461.1
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 209.8
7 Contoocook at Rivco 44.8
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 76.7
9 Merrimack Manchester St 146.7
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 201.4
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 1,119.9

You’ll hear from us again after the August 23 (our last of the season) sampling day.

Please visit our fresh and newly designed forum at MerrimackRiver.org/forum.
You can also find us at MerrimackRiver.org for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at UMMP@MerrimackRiver.org or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Sincerely,
                                           
Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor

Bacteria days: results for July 26, 2018

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers began the 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. This week continued that excellent trend.

Not so excellent: This is the fifth (four this year and one at the end of last year) high reading on the Pemigewasset River. This is particularly disturbing since prolonged periods of rain tend to dilute runoff (also known as nonpoint) sources of bacteria. Local officials are closing in on the source(s) of the bacteria. We continue to work with local and state officials to determine the source(s) of these high E. coli readings.

The rest is good news: All other samples are well within the Class B standard and most are within the Class A standard.

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 1,413.6
2 Winnipesaukee 145.0
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 125.9
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 127.4
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 117.8
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 116.2
7 Contoocook at Rivco 47.3
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 81.3
9 Merrimack Manchester St 62.7
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 125.9
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 34.5

You’ll hear from us again after the August 9 sampling day.

Please visit our fresh and newly designed forum at MerrimackRiver.org/forum.
You can also find us at MerrimackRiver.org for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at UMMP@MerrimackRiver.org or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Sincerely,
                                           
Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor

Bacteria days: results for July 12, 2018

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers began the 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. This week continued that excellent trend.

We have a fourth (three this year and one at the end of last year) consistent high reading on the Pemigewasset. Since then, the City of Franklin has been in contact and offered their resources to locate and correct, if possible this pollution source. A concerned angler also provided insight. With that information and our knowledge of the area and data, dedicated volunteers braved ticks and poison ivy and conducted a visual shoreline survey. Our volunteer organization has voted to increase our sampling to pinpoint the source. We will work with local and state officials to determine the source of these high E. coli readings.

All other samples are well within the Class B standard and most are within the Class A standard.

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 1,119.9
2 Winnipesaukee 43.2
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 248.9
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 65.7
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 25.0
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 13.4
7 Contoocook at Rivco 25.3
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 21.6
9 Merrimack Manchester St 18.7
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 71.2
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 13.4

You’ll hear from us again after the July 26 sampling day.

Please visit our fresh and newly designed forum at MerrimackRiver.org/forum.
You can also find us at MerrimackRiver.org for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at UMMP@MerrimackRiver.org or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Sincerely,
                                           
Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor

Bacteria days: results for June 21, 2018

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers began the 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.

We have another yet high (higher even than two weeks ago) reading on the Pemigewasset. This is troubling given that our two samples this season have occurred during very dry conditions. It is doubly disturbing because this is the same site where the last sample of 2017 had the same bacteria colonies. There is something happening at Site 1 and we will do our best to pinpoint the source and find partners to address it.

All other samples are well within the Class B standard and most are within the Class A standard.

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 1,986.3
2 Winnipesaukee 35.0
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 101.2
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 61.3
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 118.7
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 43.1
7 Contoocook at Rivco 63.1
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 32.3
9 Merrimack Manchester St 78.5
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 35.0
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 29.8

You’ll hear from us again after the July 12 sampling day.

Please visit our fresh and newly designed forum at MerrimackRiver.org/forum.
You can also find us at MerrimackRiver.org for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at UMMP@MerrimackRiver.org or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Sincerely,
                                           
Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor

Bacteria days: results for June 7, 2018 (first of the season)

Dear River and Watershed Friends,

Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program volunteers began the 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.

We have another high reading on the Pemigewasset, which we will continue to investigate through more sampling. This is the same site where the last sample of 2017 had the same bacteria colonies. All other samples are well within the Class B standard and most are within the Class A standard.

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 1,299.7
2 Winnipesaukee 60.2
3 Merrimack above FWWT Plant 60.2
4 Merrimack below FWWT Plant 74.9
5 Merrimack Jamie Welch Park 117.8
6 Merrimack Route 4 Bypass 108.6
7 Contoocook at Rivco 35.0
8 Merrimack Sewalls Falls 50.4
9 Merrimack Manchester St 28.1
10 Merrimack Blue Seal 24.1
11 Merrimack Garvins Falls 27.2

You’ll hear from us again after the June 21 sampling day.

Please visit our fresh and newly designed forum at MerrimackRiver.org/forum.
You can also find us at MerrimackRiver.org for further information or don’t hesitate to contact us at UMMP@MerrimackRiver.org or 603.796.2615 should you have any questions.

Sincerely,
                                           
Michele L Tremblay                          Stephen C Landry
Program Manager                             Sampling Supervisor

I refuse to accept it’s over: Bug Night #11

“But I’m not finished, yet!” cried the overly zealous volunteer after learning that it was the last Bug Night of the year.

The White Coats’ faces were impassive. They were ambivalent. While they were happy to have more time to dedicate to preparing for and executing the water quality monitoring and rock basket field work, they would miss the hard working Bug Night-ers.

“I will chain myself to a ‘scope before I let it happen,” pronounced the zealot, “I mean it.”

“Please help yourself to another chocolate mint,” offered the female White Coat.

The zealot appeared mollified. For now.

We will see you on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 beginning at 6:00 PM sharp (ending just as sharply at 8:59 PM so that we do not tax our kind St. Paul’s School hosts).

Let’s make the most of our last evening together. No chains will be allowed in the laboratory.

If you are enjoying these messages and would like to see the archives from the past few years, please visit http://www.merrimackriver.org/forum

The Bug Night-er always rings twice: Bug Night #10

The telephone rang incessantly. The calls ranged from timid to whining to angry. The texts included ALL CAPS and exclamation points. The emoji cannot be transcribed.

“Hey, no rush but I was wondering if there was Bug Night tonight,” queried one volunteer.

Maybe it was too much for them all having the last week off.

“Please tell me that there is Bug Night tonight,” whined one exceedingly frustrated citizen scientist.

The White Coats were sympathetic. Sometimes, there were circumstances beyond their control.

“Is there Bug Night tonight or not?” demanded a frustrated Bug Night-er.

Yes, there is a Bug Night.

 

We will see you on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 beginning at 6:00 PM sharp (ending just as sharply at 8:59 so that we do not tax our kind St. Paul’s School hosts).

No phone calls (or texts), please. Apply in person at the laboratory door or windows.

If you are enjoying these messages and would like to see the archives from the past few years, please visit http://www.merrimackriver.org/forum

I can’t see through this ‘scope: Bug Night #9

The evening huddle was informative. Everyone was instructed on the difference between fingernail clams and Asian Clams. Advice on technology and practical tips were provided.

“What about the dim bulb ‘scope?” asked a Bug Night-er.

“See if there is another ‘scope or if your neighbour is willing to trade with you,” said the male White Coat, “If not, your mobile phone flashlight feature can help.”

“Sometimes the focus isn’t good,” reported another Bug Night-er.

“You might have too much depth of field,” offered the female White Coat, “Perhaps you might try zooming out to flatten the focus.”

“What do I do if my forceps don’t meet?” asked a quiet Bug Night-er, “A lot of them don’t seem to grab the smaller organisms.”

“We can try to fix them here,” offered both White Coats, “Please bring them to us and will try to repair them while you grab another pair.”

“What if the eye pieces are smudged?” asked a new Bug Night-er.

“Please be very careful and use only Kimwipes to clear the smudges,” instructed the White Coats.

Not all of the questions were as specific and easily resolved.

“I’m having a difficult time identifying the larger organisms up close,” moaned a Bug Night-er, “Actually, I can’t see much of anything.”

“Just do your best,” said the female White Coat, “No more questions now and get to work.”

We will see you on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 beginning at 6:00 PM sharp (ending just as sharply at 8:59 so that we do not tax our kind St. Paul’s School hosts).

Rap blindly on the door or windows to be admitted to the laboratory.