Flows were high due to all the rain we have had. Higher river flows result in more dilution for the wastewater treatment plants usually resulting in lower nitrate and TP. Because Brockton, Bridgewater, and Taunton WWTPs are not scheduled to complete their plant upgrades until next year, we still saw some elevated nitrate below the Brockton plant and elevated TP levels below all three plants despite the high river flow.
High stormwater runoff which causes the high river flows tends to result in elevated bacteria levels (from street runoff) which we saw as well. We hope to get more bacteria data using our new more sensitive indicator enterococci in the future to help put this in better perspective.
We had a perfect month for sample collection from all our 20 sites plus our 2 duplicates and blanks. I appreciate that our team was able to step in and successfully restart our sampling program after a 1 year and 4 month hiatus due to the pandemic.
As we have in the past TRWA forwards our results to EPA Region 1 and MassDEP for their information. My hope is that now that there is a new Administration in DC they will be motivated to complete updated permits for Somerset and Fall River with nutrient limitations so that the five major treatment plants who are already completing upgrades and everyone who lives in the watershed will receive the benefit of their investment and a healthier estuary and river.