MassWWP led a volunteer monitoring project on the Connecticut River in
the summer of 1998. Citizen volunteers sampled 12 sites biweekly for fecal
coliforms. The samples were brought to one of three cooperating municipal
wastewater treatment plants in Montague, Amherst, and Chicopee for analyses.
The last and final sampling occurred September 14, 1998.
The final report can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat® Reader. Don't have the software? Click here for a free download.
Even though the Connecticut River is much cleaner now than it was 20 years ago, some serious pollution problems remain. One of the major problems is the bacterial contamination due to non-point source pollution (rain water running off the land and picking up pollution from streets, fields and pastures) and especially from combined sewer overflows (when it rains a lot, water from stormdrains is added to sewer water in pipes going to the wastewater treatment plants. The combined flow becomes too much to handle by the plant, and some of the combined rainwater-sewer water gets dumped directly into the river, without being treated).
Massachusetts Standards for Fecal Coliforms*:
under 400 colonies/100ml: suitable for primary water contact (swimming)
400-2000 colonies/100ml: suitable for secondary contact only (boating, but no swimming)
over 2000 colonies/100ml: unsuitable for recreation (no boating or swimming)
*These are simplified standards for ease of reading. Actual standards posted here.
The following table presents 1998 fecal coliform bacteria data in number of colonies per 100ml of water (preliminary results; may be altered after more thorough review of quality control results).
|Northfield Boat Ramp, Northfield|
|Rt 10 Bridge, Northfield|
|Munn's Ferry, Northfield|
|Kidd's Island, Northfield|
|Falls Rd, Sunderland|
|Rt 116 Bridge, Sunderland|
|Bashin Beach, Hatfield|
|Canary Island, Hatfield|
|Elwell's Island, Northampton|
|Rainbow Beach, Northampton|
|Mitch's Island, Hadley|
|Oxbow Ramp, Northampton|
| Tent City,
|Brunelle's Marina, S. Hadley|
|Log Pond Cove, Holyoke|
|Jones Ferry, Chicopee|
|South End Bridge, Agawam|
|ns=not sampled; nd=no data|
Mary Boyd of the Montague Water Pollution Control Facility processes fecal coliform samples brought in by volunteers.
Water Quality Criteria: