For 20 weeks starting May 23, volunteers from local boathouses and community groups will be collecting weekly water samples at boat launches and docks from Yonkers to Jamaica Bay. Using EPA-approved kits from IDEXX laboratories, our partners at The River Project will test the samples for microbes of the genus Enterococcus (“Entero”). Enterococci are commonly found in the feces of humans and other warm-blooded animals; their presence in the water is an indication of fecal pollution and the possible presence of pathogens that could be harmful to human health.
The program got underway on May 1 with a volunteer training session held at The River Project on pier 40 in Hudson River Park.
To download or view a list of sampling Do's and Dont's, click here.
To watch a video on How to Take a Water Sample, click here. .
We will publish test results here every Friday evening throughout the boating season. The idea of our program is to create a baseline of data that, when correlated with rain and tide information, can help better inform boaters of likely water quality at their preferred launch sites. Because local boaters and boating groups have the best understanding of local variations in weather, current and topography, and because they are best able to assess the risk of exposure posed by the particular kind of boating that they intend to do, we feel the best approach for us is to present only the results of our testing, plus basic tide and rainfall information, and leave the specific interpretation--and decision-making--to those users and user groups.
If you would like to volunteer or be added to our water testing email list please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.
For a terrific explanation of how weather affects a watershed, complete with interactive tools to further your understanding, visit the website of our partner group, the Newtown Creek Alliamce at www.newtowncreekalliance.org