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Water Quality Monitoring
Click to view, print and download information about our weekly water quality sampling process.
Lab Processing and Data
Click to view, print and download information about our weekly water quality monitoring process.
List of Sampling Sites, Groups, and Lab Locations
What are you testing for?
We are testing for Enterococcus, a fecal indicator bacteria. The EPA uses this bacteria as an indicator to determine if a recreational area is safe for public use. Enterococci are indicators of the presence of fecal material in water and therefore, of the possible presence of other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. These pathogens can sicken swimmers and others who use rivers and streams for recreation or eat raw shellfish or fish. Other potential health effects can include diseases of the skin, eyes, ears, and respiratory tract.
How do you test for Enterococcus?
We use an EPA-approved 24-hour detection test, Enteroalert by IDEXX.
Samples are diluted and mixed with a reagent. Then they are sealed in Quanti-Trays and incubated over a 24-hour period. The following day, the Quanti-Trays are examined under a UV light for fluorescent indicators. The number of fluorescent squares present on a Quanti-Tray is used to determine the bacterial levels using a most probable number (MPN) method.