Earth Day and Covid-19

Wednesday, April 22, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and it’s safe to say no one expected we’d be celebrating it indoors during a planet-wide pandemic. In 1970, more than 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day. Once public health authorities say its safe to do so TRWA will resume its many free public events in the watershed. Until then we appreciate the efforts our members are making to follow CDC guidelines and keep each other safe. Thank you for your support of TRWA and each other through this difficult time.

March 28th Sampler Training Cancelled; TRWA Monitoring Program Suspended

In order to protect our volunteers and their families and following the direction of public health authorities, TRWA is cancelling the March 28th TRWA new and existing volunteer sampler training session we had previously scheduled. We are also suspending our citizen monitoring program which was planned to start on April 14th until further notice.

When we are advised by government and public health authorities that it is safe to do so we will reschedule our training session. Similarly when information from public health authorities and our partners at Veolia indicate that it is safe to do so we will resume … Continue reading

CANCELLED – TO BE RE-SCHEDULED – TRWA Volunteer Monitoring Training Saturday, March 28, 2020, 9:30 AM to Noon

CANCELLED – NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED WHEN AVAILABLE

Come help us make sure our water stays clean!

The Taunton River Watershed Alliance has done water quality testing in the Taunton River and its tributaries since its inception in 1988. The information gathered shows that ongoing efforts to clean up the river are necessary and effective. Each bucket of water pulled up to be tested can have national implications. It already has and must be continued to keep our water clean and our 43 communities informed and accountable.

TRWA currently has 20 sample collection volunteers who work in 10 teams … Continue reading

October Nitrate, Total Phosphorus and Enterococci Bacteria Results

The October nitrate, total phosphorus, and enterococci results are back from our contract lab and have also been added to the website monitoring data page. These are the last results for the 2019 monitoring season which runs from April through October so we can look at not only the month of October but the year as a whole.

The October results for 2019 are a little worse than October 2018 but looking at the May to October averages for both years they are very similar. Both 2018 and 2019 were relatively similar, wet years providing high wastewater treatment plant … Continue reading

September nitrate, total phosphorus, and enterococci results

The September nitrate, total phosphorus, and enterococci results have been added to the website.

The results for nitrate our most critical water quality parameter because of the impact of excess nitrogen on the ecology of the estuarine portion of the river and Mount Hope Bay look better than 2018 and much better than 2017 and 2016 (two low river flow years). We see the highest levels in the upper watershed (locations MAT-01, TWH-01, and CHE-01) reflecting the fact that Brockton and Bridgewater have not completed required upgrades to remove nitrogen yet. Brockton and Bridgewater are scheduled to remove nitrogen … Continue reading

August Nitrate, Total Phosphorus, and Enterococci Results

The August nitrate, total phosphorus, and enterococci results have been added to the website. The results for nitrate our most critical water quality parameter because of the impact of excess nitrogen on the ecology of the estuarine portion of the river and Mount Hope Bay look comparable to 2018 and better than 2017 and 2016 (two low river flow years). We see the highest levels in the upper watershed (locations MAT-01, TWH-01, and CHE-01) reflecting the fact that Brockton and Bridgewater have not completed required upgrades to remove nitrogen yet. Brockton and Bridgewater are scheduled to remove nitrogen in … Continue reading

July Nitrate, Total Phosphorus, and Enterococci Results

The July nitrate, total phosphorus, and enterococci results are posted in the data section of the website. In July with flows falling slightly nutrient pollution levels (nitrate and total phosphorus) are up because the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges are not being diluted with as much natural river flow.

As in past years nitrates in particular are on the rise and a concern exceeding the safe estuarine levels designated by EPA and MassDEP for the Taunton River and Mount Hope Bay (see levels in bold red on our spreadsheet). Fortunately the WWTPs in the watershed are under permit … Continue reading

June Nitrate, Total Phosphorus and Bacteria Results Available

The June monitoring results for nitrate and total phosphorus two important nutrients affecting watershed water quality and bacteria (enterococci bacteria) used to assess swimming safety have been posted on the Water Quality Monitoring Results page of the website.

When TRWA sampled on June 18th the river flows were still high so we are far from summer peak stress conditions for nitrate and total phosphorus concentration. Despite the high WWTP dilution we saw some high nitrate levels below the Brockton WWTP (Matfield River and upper Taunton River) and below the Taunton WWTP (Taunton River at Berkley Bridge). Levels of total … Continue reading

Is Fertilizer Poison?

Sometimes TRWA gets questions from people reading posts on the internet. One recent question was “is fertilizer poison?”.

The answer is yes! (read the bag)

 This is why bags of even basic turf fertilizer have cautions including:

  • “Keep out of reach of children”,
  • “Eye contact with contents may cause irritation”,
  • “Do not apply near water, storm drains, or drainage ditches”,
  • “Do not apply if heavy rain is expected”
  • Apply this product only to your lawn and sweep any product that lands on the driveway, sidewalk, or street back onto your lawn (emphasis added).

Fertilizer with weed control have … Continue reading