Thursday, May 18, 2017

Riverkeeper’s Upper Hudson Water Quality Program

lake tear of the cloudsRiverkeeper partners with more than 40 institutions and over 160 individuals to sample more than 400 locations throughout the Hudson River Watershed monthly from May through October. The data collection measures concentration of the fecal indicator bacteria Enterococcus (Entero) using EPA-approved methods. Results are reported in Entero count per 100 mL of water. Entero is present in the guts of warm-blooded animals, and while it is used to detect the likely presence of untreated human sewage, in some cases it may also indicate the presence of fecal contamination from geese, cattle or other animals. Riverkeeper measures results of water samples based on the EPA’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria, which New York State is currently using to update state Water Quality Standards.

In 2016, with Jarrett Engineering, SUNY Cobleskill, and CUNY Queens College and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Riverkeeper launched a monitoring program in the Hudson River above the Troy Dam.

The Hudson River Estuary is tidal from New York Harbor to the Troy Dam in the Capital District. Above the dam, the Upper Hudson stretches about 150 miles to Lake Tear of the Clouds, in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Data from 2016 is available here.

Test results from samples gathered along the Upper Hudson to date are not extensive enough to draw conclusions, but the results documented water quality that was safe for swimming, based on federal guidelines, in most locations on the dates sampled.

A report on the data collected to date is available here.

Photo of Lake Tear of the Clouds courtesy Riverkeeper.

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