September 8th

 

FINAL RIVER TESTS FOR SEASON

 

Hot weather brought lots of people out to enjoy local rivers over the Labor Day weekend. E. coli tests conducted the day after showed the rivers to be in generally good condition for the week. This was the last test for this season conducted by over 30 volunteers with the Souhegan Watershed Association. Testing is planned to continue again beginning next June.

 

The Merrimack River tested clear of E. coli bacteria as it has most all of the summer. Testing over the past 20 years has shown the Merrimack cleaning up for this particular pollution. This week no sites tested were higher than the threshold limit of 88. Near the Tyngsborough Bridge the count was a very clean 3. The highest count was seen in Manchester, still a very clean 53.

 

The Souhegan River is tested its entire length, from Ashburnham, MA, to Merrimack, NH. E. coli counts here were higher than the threshold limit as the river passed through centers of town in Greenville, Wilton, and Milford. Also a spike was seen at the Amherst Canoeport at the Amherst Country Club. The E. coli count here jumped up to 727, a dangerous level. It is thought that this was an aberration however due to some localized problem such as flocks of geese or other animals polluting the river. Sites both upstream and downstream were in the 100 level, more acceptable levels.

 

Swimming holes like the Horseshoe, Indian Ledges, and Watson Park all tested clean. The Amherst Canoeport at Boston Post Road was slightly high at 148, a usual sort of result for this site. This season monitors have seen higher than acceptable levels of bacteria after heavy rainfalls, especially following dry spells. This allows fecal bacteria to be washed into the Souhegan – and other rivers – from animals along the river and from storm drains in populated areas. Contrary to popular opinion, swimming after heavy rains is dirtier than before.

 

One of the tests that the volunteers collect is for dissolved oxygen (DO). DO levels on both rivers have been excellent this year – and generally excellent for the almost 20 years that the tests have been collected. DO measures the actual health of the river for the plants and animals in and around the river. This test shows that both rivers, which are considered Protected NH Rivers, are quite healthy.

 

All of the individual data collected for each of the 30 sites along both rivers is available at www.souheganriver.org. Data from past years and explanations of its significance is also there.

 

Besides the 30 volunteers, some of whom have adopted their site for many years and have real expertise, the program could not continue without the certified personnel at the wastewater treatment plants in Greenville, Milford, Nashua, Merrimack, and Manchester who perform the tests.

 

SWA is planning to continue this monitoring program beginning again next June. This will be the 20th year of the program that was started with a grant from NH DES and Nashua Regional Planning Commission. New volunteers are always needed and interested people can contact Karen at swawatertesting@gmail.com for information.

 

Here are this week’s results. The lower the number the cleaner the river; lower than 88 is excellent.

 

E-COLI MONITORING RESULTS FOR TESTS TAKEN ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2015

 

SOUHEGAN RIVER SITES:

 

  1. Billy Ward Pond, Ashburnham  #1 21.3, #2  3.0

  2. SoR  333  Water Loom Pond, New Ipswich  3.1

  3. SoR  320  Highbridge, New Ipswich  65.7

  4. SoR  309  Above Greenville Mill Pond, Greenville  93.3

  5. SoR  296  Downtown Greenville upstream of WWTP  139.6

  6. SoR  291  Green Bridge off Rte 31 below Greenville WWTP   90.9

  7. SoR  218  Below the Horseshoe, Wilton  56.3

  8. SoR  210  Downtown Wilton  NA

  9. SoR  201  Pine Valley Mill, West Milford   NA

  10. SoR  170  Behind Hayward Field, West Milford   NA

  11. SoR  155  Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club, Milford  290.9

  12. SoR  146  Swing Bridge, Milford  88.4

  13. SoR  133  Riverside Cemetery, Milford   73.8

  14. SoR  130  Behind Lorden Plaza, Milford  121.1

  15. SoR  122  Amherst Country Club  727.0

  16. SoR  116  Amherst Conservation land Fairway Road, Amherst    NA

  17. SoR  095  Boston Post Road Canoeport, Amherst  148.3

  18. Sor   070   Seaverns Bridge, Merrimack  167.06

  19. SoR  057  Indian Ledges, Merrimack  59.4

  20. SoR  034  Turkey Hill Bridge, Merrimack   NA

  21. SoR  001   Watson Park, DW Hwy, Merrimack  35.0

 

 

 

MERRIMACK RIVER SITES:

 

1.      Mer  600  Above Amoskeag Dam, Manchester  16.0

2.      Mer  590  Arms Park, Manchester  52.0

3.      Mer  570  Goffs Falls, Litchfield  52.9

4.      Mer  560  Depot Street, Merrimack    28.1

5.      Mer  550  Upstream of Souhegan River, Merrimack   27.9

6.      Mer  540  Thorntons Ferry, Merrimack  31.3

7.      Mer  530  Greeley Park, Nashua  NA

8.      Mer  520  Taylors Falls Bridge, Nashua  20.1 

9.      Mer  510  Sagamore Bridge, Hudson  5.2

10.  Mer  500  Pheasant Lane Mall, Hudson   NA

11.  Mer  490  Upstream of Tyngsboro Bridge  3.0

 

                                   

Flow on Upper Souhegan was 12 CFS and expected flow for that date is 23

Flow on Lower Souhegan was 31 CFS and historic flow for that date is 40

Flow on Merrimack was 894 CFS and historic flow for that date is 1390

RAINFALL -  Clear, hot, dry

Temperatures: Souhegan 16C;  Merrimack 20C

 

 

DISSOLVED OXYGEN RESULTS FOR TESTS TAKEN ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2015

 

SOUHEGAN RIVER SITES:

 

  1. Billy Ward Pond, Ashburnham  #1  6.97, #2  6.97

  2. SoR  333  River Road above Water Loom Pond, New Ipswich  6.85

  3. SoR  320  Highbridge, New Ipswich  7.99

  4. SoR  309  Above Greenville Mill Pond, Greenville  7.64

  5. SoR  296  Downtown Greenville upstream of WWTP  8.09

  6. SoR  291  Green Bridge off Rte 31 below Greenville WWTP   8.10

  7. SoR  218  Below the Horseshoe, Wilton   8.54

  8. SoR  210  Downtown Wilton  NA

  9. SoR  201  Pine Valley Mill, West Milford   NA

  10. SoR  170  Behind Hayward Field, West Milford   NA

  11. SoR  155  Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club, Milford  7.63

  12. SoR  146  Swing Bridge, Milford  7.44

  13. SoR  133  Riverside Cemetery, Milford   7.54

  14. SoR  130  Behind Lorden Plaza, Milford  7.00

  15. SoR  122  Amherst Country Club  7.05

  16. SoR  116  Amherst Conservation land Fairway Road, Amherst    NA

  17. SoR  095  Boston Post Road Canoeport, Amherst  7.40

  18. Sor   070   Seaverns Bridge, Merrimack  7.15

  19. SoR  057  Indian Ledges, Merrimack  8.32

  20. SoR  034  Turkey Hill Bridge, Merrimack   NA

  21. SoR  001   Watson Park, DW Hwy, Merrimack  8.75

 

 

MERRIMACK RIVER SITES:

 

12.  Mer  600  Above Amoskeag Dam, Manchester  7.92

13.  Mer  590  Arms Park, Manchester  7.91

14.  Mer  570  Goffs Falls, Litchfield  7.54

15.  Mer  560  Depot Street, Merrimack   7.76

16.  Mer  550  Upstream of Souhegan River, Merrimack  7.83

17.  Mer  540  Thorntons Ferry, Merrimack  7.67

18.  Mer  530  Greeley Park, Nashua  NA

19.  Mer  520  Taylors Falls Bridge, Nashua   8.44

20.  Mer  510  Sagamore Bridge, Hudson  9.00

21.  Mer  500  Pheasant Lane Mall, Hudson    NA

22.  Mer  490  Upstream of Tyngsboro Bridge  8.85