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CHARLES RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION

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Water Quality Notification Program - Charles River Watershed Association

Water Quality Results - Region 1

Newton Yacht Club, Watertown Yacht Club, Community Rowing, Inc., Northeastern's Henderson Boathouse, and Paddle Boston at Herter Park

Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
 06/25/2019 264 0.00
 06/27/2019 500 0.00
07/02/2019 220 0.00
07/09/2019 170 0.00
07/11/2019 240 0.00
07/16/2019 180 0.00
07/18/2019 >1600 0.50
07/23/2019 1500 0.78
07/25/2019 140 0.00
08/01/2019 >1600 0.25
08/06/2019 160 0.00
08/08/2019 7,000 1.64
08/13/2019 180 0.00
08/15/2019 210 0.00
08/20/2019 90 0.00
08/22/2019 440 0.05
08/27/2019 110 0.00
08/29/2019 10,000 1.10
09/03/2019 >1600 1.01
09/05/19 560 0.00
09/10/19 130 0.00
09/12/19 90 0.00
09/17/19 120 0.00
09/19/19 60 0.00
9/24/19 130 0.00
9/26/19 180 0.00
10/01/19 120 0.00
10/03/19 1200 0.18
10/08/19 140 0.12
10/10/19 120 0.04


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Water Quality Results - Region 2

Harvard's Weld Boathouse

Sample Date 1E. coli
(colonies/100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
 06/25/2019 76 0.00
06/27/2019 350 0.00
07/02/2019 200 0.00
07/09/2019 150 0.00
07/11/2019 180 0.00
07/16/2019 100 0.00
07/18/2019 350 0.50
07/23/2019 500 0.78
07/25/2019 270 0.00
07/30/2019 100 0.00
08/01/2019 540 0.25
08/06/2019 110 0.00
08/08/2019 18,000 1.64
08/13/2019 160 0.00
08/15/2019 120 0.00
08/20/2019 100 0.00
08/22/2019 80 0.05
08/27/2019 40 0.00
08/29/2019 2400 1.10
09/03/2019 >1600 1.01
09/05/19 270 0.00
09/10/19 100 0.00
09/12/19 80 0.00
09/17/19 65 0.00
09/19/19 40 0.00
09/24/19 90 0.00
09/26/19 60 0.00
10/01/19 80 0.00
10/03/19 520 0.18
10/08/19 260 0.12
10/10/19 100 0.04


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Water Quality Results - Region 3

Riverside Boat Club

Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
 06/25/2019 36 0.00
 06/27/2019 50 0.00
07/02/2019 390 0.00
07/09/2019 340 0.00
07/11/2019 80 0.00
07/16/2019 48 0.00
07/18/2019 360 0.50
07/23/2019 260 0.78
07/25/2019 150 0.00
07/30/2019 30 0.00
08/01/2019 110 0.25
08/06/2019 780 0.00
08/08/2019 9,000 1.64
08/13/2019 80 0.00
08/15/2019 100 0.00
08/20/2019 50 0.00
08/22/2019 190 0.05
08/27/2019 20 0.00
08/29/2019 2460 1.10
09/03/2019 >1600 1.01
09/05/19 250 0.00
09/10/19 160 0.00
09/12/19 70 0.00
09/17/19 150 0.00
09/19/19 130 0.00
09/24/19 100 0.00
09/26/19 240 0.00
10/01/19 80 0.00
10/03/19 940 0.18
10/08/19 <10 0.12
10/10/19 120 0.04

 

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Water Quality Results - Region 4

Charles River Yacht Club, Union Boat Club, Community Boating, and Paddle Boston at Kendall Square

  Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
  06/25/2019 56 0.00
  06/27/2019 20 0.00
  07/02/2019 20 0.00
  07/09/2019 30 0.00
  07/11/2019 20 0.00
  07/16/2019 5 0.00
  07/18/2019 20 0.50
  07/23/2019 15 0.78
  07/25/2019 20 0.00
  07/30/2019 5 0.00
  08/01/2019 <5 0.25
  08/06/2019 10 0.00
  08/08/2019 280 1.64
  08/13/2019 70 0.00
  08/15/2019 20 0.00
  08/20/2019 20 0.00
  08/22/2019 10 0.05
  08/27/2019 10 0.00
  08/29/2019 230 1.10
  09/03/2019 50 1.01
  09/05/19 80 0.00
  09/10/19 70 0.00
  09/17/19 80 0.00
  09/19/19 10 0.00
  09/24/19 10 0.00
  09/26/19 70 0.00
  10/01/19 10 0.00
  10/03/19 10 0.18
  10/08/19 100 0.12
  10/10/19 100 0.04

 

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About Daily Water Quality Program Data

Every year from July through October, CRWA provides daily public notifications of water quality conditions in the Charles River Lower Basin, from Watertown to Boston Harbor. Through a system of color-coded flags, CRWA informs Charles River recreationalists when the river is safe for boating, or when a public health threat may be present due to bacterial contamination or cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).

E. coli bacteria

The presence of E. coli bacteria in water suggests contamination by sewage, which could mean disease-causing bacteria or viruses are present. High bacteria concentrations are typically observed after periods of heavy rainfall, when storm drains and sewer systems overflow and discharge pollutants into the river.

CRWA has developed mathematical models to estimate the probability of the Charles River exceeding the state's water quality standard for secondary contact recreation, or boating.  The state boating standard for E.coli bacteria is 1,260 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of water (cfu/100 mL).  Originally created by CRWA and Tufts University, the models use recent rainfall and river conditions to predict water quality violations and are updated periodically by CRWA. In addition, CRWA collects river samples weekly, which are analyzed for E.coli contamination to verify model predictions. 

Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae)

CRWA estimates health risks due to blooms of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) based on weekly monitoring and communication with public health officials. Some types of cyanobacteria can produce toxins that can cause skin irritations and other health problems. Cyanobacteria concentrations in the Charles River Lower Basin are far less variable than E. coli concentrations. 

Massachusetts Environmental Trust


This project is generously funded in part by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.

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Project Manager

Lisa Kumpf
Lisa Kumpf
Aquatic Scientist
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