Bacterial Action Team (BACT)

In the summer months, The Watershed Institute’s StreamWatch Program monitors freshwater streams, lakes, and ponds in Central New Jersey for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) levels in the water. HABs are caused by a type of photosynthesizing bacteria that can produce toxins. E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and humans. The presence of this bacteria indicates that disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites of a fecal origin may be contaminating the water. Swimming or wading in streams with high E. coli levels is considered to be a health risk.

StreamWatch Bacterial Action Team (BACT) volunteers collect water samples once a week on Sundays over a 15-week period from Mid-May through August. All samples are processed in-house by Watershed Institute staff and/or interns using the IDEXX/Colilert method. Monitoring helps to rapidly identify bacterial problems and monitor their status throughout the summer.

Copyright © 2024 The Watershed Institute. All rights reserved.

Site by Scout Digital