Good news on local water quality

The Delaware River Basin Commission collects water samples periodically and publishes data about bacteria levels in the Delaware Bay. Four of the collection points are south of our location at Money Island NJ and are therefore could be affected by discharge from the bayshore communities in this local region. The primary factor of concern, especially in summer, is the level of e. coli bacteria, also known as fecal coliform. The data published on the State of New Jersey’s web site indicated that levels of fecal coliform have been minimal or not detected at all collection points in the Delaware bay south of us at Money Island.

This data is especially important because an improperly designed water quality test conducted in the summer of 2014 was misconstrued to imply that broken septic systems were contributing to fecal coliform levels in the Nantuxent Cove and in the bay around Money Island. Some environmentalists in the American Littoral Society and the Cumberland County Department of Health apparently misinterpreted last year’s report to mean that higher levels of reported bacteria were coming from human source discharge.  The test has since been discredited and its authors have disclaimed some of the methodology. All other tests prior to and after this have indicated a healthy level of fecal coliform in our waters.  The last comprehensive report on our water quality was published in 2012.

In general, the mid and lower bay region has lower levels of bacteria than water bodies further north.

The test result data is summarized in this table. For complete information, see the test results for each individual month.

Fecal Coliform Summary Data

Collection Points:
Mahon River Crossledge Joe Flogger Brown’s Shoal
June 2015 Not detected Not detected Not detected 1
July 2015 Not detected Not detected Not detected Not detected
August 2015 Not detected 1 Not detected Not detected
September 2015 7 Not detected Not detected Not detected

A fecal coliform level of 200 is considered to be the maximum safe standard for this test.

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