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Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Partnership

End of Summer Update

Martha Klein

The researchers at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) have nearly completed the summer weekly E. coli testing on the Scantic River. The preliminary results show that bacterial counts continue to be high, as they were last summer when Sierra Club Connecticut learned about this issue. The complete data set for the season has not yet been analyzed, so we can't say conclusively that the trends are higher, lower or unchanged. But it appears that the impairments to the river continue unabated. We have our work cut out for us in trying to get this river de-listed as an impaired body of water.  


To determine specific causes of the impairments to the river, or "point sources of pollution", the Partnership needs to gather a much larger data set and needs to do genomic testing to identify the sources of bacteria. This analysis requires money and time to support the USJ researchers who primarily work on this project as volunteers. We have applied for grants from the state and will continue to seek ways to fund enhanced testing and analysis. 


We launched an educational series in Enfield and will continue to give presentations locally in all towns along the Scantic. We seek to educate residents about actions they can take to protect the health of the Scantic River, which includes obvious things, such as pumping out septic systems at regular intervals and removing garbage and dog waste from the riverside beach areas, to less obvious actions, like planting riparian borders. If you want to learn more about river health and water protecting riparian borders, attend a presentation this fall in north-central Connecticut. Check our chapter’s Events & Outings for dates and locations. 


Martha Klein is a member of the Sierra Club Connecticut Executive Committee and Communications Committee and leader of our Beyond Gas Committee.

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