Twenty stations were sampled for fecal coliform bacteria in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers on February 6, 2019. Five stations were also sampled for enterococci bacteria. Light rain (0.1 inches of precipitation) occurred the morning of sampling.
Fecal coliform geometric mean decreased from the previous sampling to 17 MPN/100 mL. The fecal coliform geomean was higher in the Seekonk River (29 MPN/100 mL) compared to the Providence River (13 MPN/100 mL). The maximum fecal coliform concentration (430 MPN/100 mL) was measured at Point Street Bridge in the Providence River. Fecal coliform bacteria results in both rivers met state guidelines for primary contact.
The enterococci geometric mean for the Seekonk and Providence Rivers decreased from the previous sampling to 13 MPN/100 mL. Enterococci concentrations ranged from below detection at three stations to 63 MPN/100 mL at Point Street Bridge. These results are within the state criteria for primary contact.
Please note: the results of NBC's fecal coliform and enterococci monitoring are for informational/research purposes only and are not intended to suggest official state compliance with bathing or shellfishing standards.
Water Column Clarity
Water clarity was measured at seven locations in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers on February 6, 2019. Light rain (0.1 inches) occurred on the morning of sampling, but conditions were relatively dry for the five days prior to sampling. Average water clarity decreased from the previous week, from 2.7 m to 2.1 m.
Water clarity increased at Phillipsdale Landing and Point Street Bridge, with the largest increase in clarity (0.6 m) occurring at Point Street Bridge. Water clarity decreased at India Point Park, Edgewood Yacht Club, Bullock Reach, and Conimicut Point. Secchi depth ranged from 1.56 m at Pomham Rocks to 2.50 m at Phillipsdale Landing. There is evidence of a north to south water clarity gradient.
Data was collected on February 6, 2019 while the R/V Monitor was underway collecting bacteria samples. The chlorophyll concentrations were low to fair in areas surveyed. From north to south, average chlorophyll concentrations were as follows: Seekonk River (2.02 µg/l), Upper Providence River (3.41 µg/l), Edgewood Shoals area (6.72 µg/l), Pawtuxet River area (3.19 µg/l), and the Lower Providence River (5.42 µg/l). Overall, chlorophyll ranged between 0.50 µg/l and 14.30 µg/l with an overall average of 3.76 µg/l. The chlorophyll data from this date is presented in the map below:
R/V Monitor's Blog
After several weeks of inclement weather, the R/V Monitor was out on the upper Bay twice this week. First, on Tuesday, February 5th, the crew was out conducting underwater benthic video transects, to document how reduced nitrogen loadings to the upper Bay impacts the local benthos. Three transects, using an underwater video camera mounted on a sled, were conducted this day. Jeff captained the boat, while monitoring professionals Gerard, Bekki, and Amanda worked the video equipment. It was a partly sunny day, warm and little wind. The waters were calm, ideal conditions to conduct the transect monitoring. Again, on Wednesday, February 6th, the crew was out collecting bacteria samples, taking Secchi Disk and Par sensor water clarity measurements, conducting water column profiles using the Seabird instrument, and conducting real-time surface mapping of water quality parameters, including dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, water temperature, salinity and pH, all in an effort to document water quality improvements associated with NBC construction projects. Jeff captained the boat while monitoring professionals Amanda and Gerard collected the samples and data. It was a sunny but brisk day, and the wind and water were calm. Below is a photo taken on February 6th of a tug boat in the upper Bay.