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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 and Charles River Canoe and Kayak at Herter Park

Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
06/27/2017 260 0.00
06/29/2017 232 0.00
07/07/2017  150  0.00 
07/11/2017   200   0.00 
07/13/2017   >1600      1.33 
07/18/2017   150  0.00  
07/20/2017  220  0.00  
07/25/2017   2300 1.27
07/27/2017    180  0.00
08/01/2017  110  0.00
08/03/2017 >8000   0.36
08/08/2017   140    0.00 
08/10/2017     80   0.00
08/15/2017  240   0.00 
08/22/2017    90    0.00 
 08/24/2017  >1600    0.00  
 08/29/2017  230 0.00 
 08/31/2017  140 0.07
 09/07/2017 >1600 0.22
  09/12/2017  190 0.00
  09/14/2017  180 0.03
 09/19/2017 210 0.00
09/21/2017 210 0.27
 09/26/2017 220 0.00
 09/28/2017 100 0.00
10/03/2017 40 0.00
10/10/2017 >1600 0.27
10/12/2017 270 0.00
10/17/2017 220 0.00
10/19/2017 190 0.00


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Water Quality Results - Region 2

Harvard's Weld Boathouse

Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
06/27/2017  92 0.00
06/29/2017  332 0.00
  07/07/2017    50  0.00 
07/11/2017  70  0.00 
 07/13/2017   >1600     1.33  
 07/18/2017   80   0.00  
07/20/2017   190    0.00   
07/25/2017   810 1.27
07/27/2017  130  0.00 
08/01/2017  60  0.00 
 08/03/2017  200  0.36
 08/08/2017  100  0.00
  08/10/2017    60   0.00
 08/15/2017  40  0.00
 08/22/2017  100   0.00 
 08/24/2017   1160   0.00 
08/29/2017 120 0.00
 08/31/2017   45 0.07
 09/07/2017  640 0.22
  09/12/2017   60 0.00
 09/14/2017  40 0.03
 09/19/2017  170 0.00
09/21/2017 240 0.27
 09/26/2017  40 0.00
 09/28/2017  60 0.00
10/03/2017 110 0.00
10/10/2017 290 0.27
10/12/2017 170 0.00
10/17/2017 160 0.00
10/19/2017 60 0.00


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Water Quality Results - Region 3

Riverside Boat Club

Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
06/27/2017 76 0.00
06/29/2017 124 0.00
  07/07/2017    80 0.00
07/11/2017  60  0.00 
 07/13/2017   1420  1.33  
 07/18/2017   80   0.00  
07/20/2017   150   0.00  
 07/25/2017    540   1.27
07/27/2017  80  0.00 
08/01/2017  30  0.00
08/03/2017   110  0.36
08/08/2017   80  0.00
 08/10/2017    30  0.00
08/15/2017   40  0.00
08/22/2017  50   0.00
08/24/2017  220   0.00 
08/29/2017   170 0.00 
08/31/2017  140 0.07
09/07/2017 >1600 0.22
09/12/2017 110 0.00
09/14/2017 70 0.03
09/19/2017 200 0.00
09/21/2017 380 0.27
09/26/2017 60 0.00
 09/28/2017 70 0.00
10/03/2017 40 0.00
10/10/2017 1140 0.27
10/12/2017 800 0.00
10/17/2017 400 0.00
10/19/2017 1460 0.00

 

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Water Quality Results - Region 4

Charles River Yacht Club, Union Boat Club, Community Boating, and Charles River Canoe and Kayak at Kendall Square

Sample Date

E.coli
(colonies /100mL)
Previous Day's Rainfall
(inches)
06/27/2017  16 0.00
06/29/2017  64 0.00
  07/07/2017    25 0.00
07/11/2017  20  0.00 
 07/13/2017   80   1.33  
 07/18/2017   10   0.00  
07/20/2017  10   0.00  
 07/25/2017   40 1.27
 07/27/2017   50   0.00 
 08/01/2017  10  0.00 
 08/03/2017  20   0.36
 08/08/2017 15  0.00
   08/10/2017    15   0.00
 08/15/2017  150  0.00
 08/22/2017 90  0.00
 08/24/2017 80   0.00 
 08/29/2017  20  0.00
 08/31/2017 20   0.07
09/07/2017 100  0.22
09/12/2017 80  0.00
09/14/2017 15  0.03
09/19/2017 70  0.00
09/21/2017 210  0.27
09/26/2017 25  0.00
 09/28/2017 100 0.00
10/03/2017 80 0.00
10/10/2017 100 0.27
10/12/2017 40 0.00
10/17/2017 80 0.00
10/19/2017 30 0.00

 

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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 blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).

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 a mathematical model to estimate the probability of the Charles River exceeding the state secondary contact recreation, or boating, standard for bacteria.  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 model is updated periodically by CRWA and uses recent rainfall and river conditions to predict water quality violations. In addition, CRWA collects river samples weekly, which are analyzed for E.coli contamination to verify model predictions. 

Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Health risks due to blue-green algae, (cyanobacteria) blooms are estimated by CRWA based on weekly sampling and communication with public health officials. Blue-green algae concentrations in the Charles River Lower Basin are far less variable than E. coli concentrations. Some types ofof blue-green algae can secrete toxins that can cause skin irritations and other health problems.

Massachusetts Environmental Trust


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

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About Water Quality Notification

About Field Science

Project Manager

Elisabeth Cianciola - Charles River Watershed Association
Elisabeth Cianciola
Aquatic Scientist
Bio | 781.788.0007 x231 | 
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