A test from June 30th of Raritan Bay water quality at 2nd St Park in Perth Amboy showed that the water passed EPA quality standards. This week water quality tests showed pathogens levels were below the maximum allowed by EPA federal water quality standards. The water monitoring is done by the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County, who collect water quality samples and test for pathogens. Pathogens/Enterococci “colony forming units” (CFUs) are measured and used as indicators to see if there are disease-causing bacteria in recreational waters. Pathogens may pose health risks to people fishing and swimming in a water body. Raritan pathogen tests are conducted every Thursday and reported Fridays by the Lower Raritan Watershed on their website. Tests are administered at 6 sites along the Raritan, at 2nd St in Perth Amboy, at Riverside Park in Piscataway, Edison Basin Boat Launch, Raritan Bay Waterfront Park in South Amboy and Ken Buchanan Park in Sayreville. All sites passed EPA water quality standards this week.
2nd St Park in Perth Amboy is monitored because it is a site where during rainfall, the combined sewer system overflows into the Raritan. The combined sewer system is called a CSO and the City has been required by the DEP to develop plans to address the CSO overflow problem and the outdated sewer system. After rainfall, the water may have pathogens that exceed federal standards because of the raw sewage (untreated discharge) that gets dumped into the Raritan. So be aware, when you use the area for recreational purposes when it last rained.