EOS Eco-Energy’s first water sampling blitz had a great turn out this past Saturday despite the rainy weather. It took place from Baie Verte to Murray Corner, New Brunswick. Thank you so much to all of the amazing citizen scientists who came out to grab samples for EOS. We received a lot of positive feedback from community members who are very interested in their local water quality. They were excited to learn more and have a chance to physically participate in water sampling.
We received a total of 41 samples. 17 samples were from freshwater sources (e.g. rivers, streams brooks, ponds, lakes, wetlands). The remaining 24 samples were taken from salt water (e.g. beaches, tidally influenced rivers and brooks). Our results show very high counts for fecal indicators with only 5 samples being under the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality.
However, this may not be the case under drier weather conditions. A Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow network (CoCoRaHS) rain gauge in Jolicure, NB recorded 64.5 mm of rainfall for our sampling blitz day. Heavy rainfall events, such as this one, create surface runoff that can lead to high levels of bacteria entering surface water (such as streams, river, lakes, and beaches). Fecal contamination washes off the landscape in the entire watershed and drains toward the lowest point. This is why closing beaches immediately after heavy rain is a good precautionary principle. EOS is planning a 2ndsampling blitz to revisit these locations under drier conditions to compare results.
These results highlight the importance and need for long-term water quality monitoring within our watersheds to ensure clean and healthy inland and coastal water, especially as we are seeing more intense rain events with the changing climate. The water sampling blitz also highlights the amount of community interest in water quality, and the power of community-based monitoring to sample a large geographic area.
For more information and to get involved in our next sampling blitz day, please contact EOS Watershed Coordinator Kelli-Nicole Croucher.
Read the full report here: August 18th, 2018 Sampling Blitz Results