TRWA sampling results for April are available on the website.
We want to thank our sampling volunteers for a great first month of the season! All sites and quality control duplicate and blank samples were collected.
Streamflow is high and the water cold in April so we don’t usually anticipate measurement of water quality concerns like we might find during summer heat and low flow. We didn’t see major problems this month. A few nutrient concerns noted will bear watching as lower flow and warmer weather returns. All the bacteria samples met the state’s water quality criteria even though we are using the state’s relatively new more sensitive bacteria indicator species enterococci.
We saw an elevated nitrate value in the Matfield River possibly because Brocton WWTP hasn’t started full nitrogen removal yet (required May through October as an average limit), a slightly elevated value at Center St. in Berkley downstream of Taunton WWTP which is currently working to complete nitrogen removal facilities, and a high value at Chuckamuckett Brook which we have seen in previous years and is likely due to agricultural sources. Fortunately, Chuckamuckett Brook has a low flow.
We saw one elevated total phosphorus value in the Nemasket River which may be due to wastewater treatment plant seasonal phosphorus removal start up issues.
As far as dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and Temperature are concerned (second spreadsheet) we saw two unexpectedly low pH values. The pH in our watershed is naturally acidic due to swamps, bogs and pine forested areas so we usually don’t note low pH’s unless below pH 4.0, (significantly outside the expected natural range – pH 7.0 is neutral and it is a log scale meaning each unit of 1means 10 times more acidic). We had a pH 2.84 on the Matfield River and pH 3.97 on the Cotley River. We will watch these areas to see if the unusual values are repeated.
We moved two sampling locations this season. The most significant is we stopped measuring at TBR-01 a very small feeder stream to Lake Rico in Massasoit State Park which is often dry and instead are monitoring the main stem of the Taunton River at Church St. in Raynham (CHU-01). This gives a main stem location about half way between our two lower river sites in Berkley and Taunton and the two upper sites in Bridgewater. There is large development planned along the Taunton River a short distance upstream of Church St. so this will be an important site to watch. We shifted the Segregansett River site (SEG) back to its original location on Brook St. in Dighton (it had been moved to an upstream bridge crossing due to occasional low water). The SEG team wants to try this location again to see if we can get samples closer to the Taunton main stem.
We always anticipate start-up glitches after the winter sampling hiatus but our samplers did great!
Again we want to thank our dedicated samplers for all they do!