May Monitoring Data Available

The May monitoring monitoring results are on the website, click on the Water Quality Monitoring program tab from the top of the home page and either the sample bottles picture or link to our monitoring data page under “Documents”.
The results show a few high nitrate levels downstream of the Brockton WWTP (Matfield and Upper Taunton Rivers) which may reflect that the plant has not attained full operation of its nitrogen removal facilities yet. Total phosphorus was OK. The number of bacteria water quality criteria violations increased from last month following a similar pattern from last year’s results.
Last summer the number of bacteria violations was high. The pattern followed higher water temperatures and intense summer rainstorms. In April this year the water temperature was 7 to 10 degrees C. In May the temperature climbed to 14 to 15 degrees C. Large rainstorms this Spring generated periodic high stormwater runoff as reflected in the Taunton River stream flow measurements by the USGS stream flow gauge in Bridgewater.
As our sampling moves through the season we will be watching how river water temperature (20 to 22 degrees C last summer) and stormwater runoff affect bacteria levels. Our data last year indicated that municipalities, commercial properties, state and EPA need to do a much better job of stormwater management to keep bacteria levels in our rivers safe. More intense rainfall rates associated with climate change make addressing the problem critical.
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