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HOLYOKE – The City of Holyoke announced this week that monitoring of the Connecticut River for E-coli bacteria is currently underway throughout the Pioneer Valley.
In a statement issued by the Holyoke Mayor’s Office, it was announced that volunteers will be monitoring E-coli levels at 30 different locations each Wednesday or Thursday from June through the first week of October.
“E. coli is an indicator for all types of ‘bad’ microorganisms that can be present in the river,” read the statement, “causing stomach pains, rashes, breathing problems, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. Generally, bacteria levels are elevated after a storm event due to combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and storm water runoff from urban, suburban, and agricultural areas. Experts recommend staying out of the water for 24 to 48 hours after a storm event due to the likelihood of elevated bacteria levels.”
Residents can visit a new website to check which locations have been sampled for E-coli and what the results were. [That website is located here.] After clicking on any icon on the site’s interactive map, the resulting webpage will indicate whether a sampled location is safe for swimming or boating and also give directions on how to get there.
The weekly monitoring for E-coli is a joint effort between the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the Connecticut River Watershed Council.
For more information on the Connecticut River, visit the PVPC-CRWC’s joint website here.