All The Water Data You Can Stand! (updated)

It has begun!

Months ago, I had promised Aaron Snell, the Environmental Engineer working on the Cuddy and Bridge Replacement Project, that I would do water sampling, gage*-logging, whatever-it-takes to get the Cuddy cleaned up – and yesterday was Day One of that aspect of the project!

This is a little different than my previous samplings – I won’t be standing on top of a culvert dipping bottles; I get to hike cross-country (or up the drain itself) to locations that will be far enough away from any construction sites to affect the samples. And it will be sampled every week. This will give us a very detailed look at the e-coli levels!

Since the data we are gathering will go to the State DEQ (or county Health Departments when necessary) – it has to be more precise than what I had been carrying out on my own. There are 6 sites that are sampled; and 3 water samples are drawn at each location. We noted water depth on the gages* he installed, water temperature (remarkably cold!); and whether the sample was taken from the left, center, or right side of the stream. All the samples are put into a cooler to chill; and get hustled to Grand Rapids and Summit Labs.

I will post the results when I get them!

*I know how to spell “gauge” – but the usual word for things that measure water depth is “gage”. Why? I have no clue. Ask NOAA or the USGS.

And here are the results (rough averages of the 3 samples collected):

South of M-179 on the Cuddy:  1028.96 (all number reflect MPN/CFUs: “most probable number of colony forming units”)

Timber Creek north (Cuddy): 1150.93

Timber Creek south (Gardner): 1496.43

Tawsley along 1st St:  537.03

1st St upstream (doesn’t include Tawsley):  1528.57

Patterson:  1608.12

Just for giggles – below Patterson about 75′ (Seagly’s dock):  1553.1  (I’m astonished this didn’t drop more once the drain hit the channel)

Anything over 300 CFUs is “no body contact”.  No swimming in the drain this weekend, kids…..