Storms rolled in quickly yesterday afternoon while we were collecting the water sample at Berry’sFerry (Rt. 50 bridge) public boat landing in Clarke County, VA. We called it a day. We went back to the FOSR’s water quality testing lab to set up the water samples that we did collect for E. coli enumeration. This morning we headed back out to collect the water samples at the sites that we weren’t able to hit yesterday. I also revisited a few of the sites that I collected samples from yesterday to compare the effect of the storms had on the E. coli levels.
While it did rain on Wednesday, June 8, and possibly into the early morning hours of Thursday, June 9, the rain had stopped by the time I headed out to collect the water samples around 7 AM. From my observations at the sites that I collected the water samples at on the North Fork, South Fork, and Main-stem of the Shenandoah River it appeared that it had at least rained some at all of the sites. At about half of the sites there were standing pools of water in the parking areas, at others it appeared that there was just enough rain to make the area wet. The water levels, however, in all three River stretches did not rise as much as it had last week when I collected the water samples. Interesting though, is that the E. coli concentrations measured at all of the sites were higher this week, at some sites greatly so.
Remember to check in weekly for FOSR’s Summer E. coli Testing Program Results for sites located at public access and recreational use areas on the Main-stem, North Fork, and South Fork of the Shenandoah River.
This image depicts what can occur when a tributary carrying elevated E. coli levels flows into a larger body of water. In this example on May 25, 2022, the E. coli level measured in Manassas Run was 1553.1. Downstream of the confluence with the Shenandoah River, the E. coli levels remained elevated, 648.8, along the bank. During the same sample collection visit the E. coli levels measured in the middle of the River was 23.1.
(E. coli results reported as MPN colony forming units per 100mL of water samples)
It is summer again and the Friends of the Shenandoah River is here to provide you with E. coli data courtesy of our VA DEQ Level III water quality testing laboratory. These data can help you to make an informed decision about potential health risk exposure to pathogens associated with the presence of E. coli in the water when recreating in the River at the specified sites.
This is the link to find the first set of E. coli data for Summer 2022.