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There is a boat dock used by the DCR and UMass on the Connecticut River in Northampton located in the Elwell Recreation Area on Damon Road at Route 9 and I-91. On Thursdays, between the months of June and October, volunteers coordinated by the Connecticut River Watershed Council take samples of the water which are then tested for the amount of E. coli bacteria.
If the results from the water samples come back with elevated E.coli bacteria, which are beyond the permissible limits for safety, the Health Department will post the area with an advisory. Bacteria levels are typically elevated during wet weather events and good precautions to take include avoiding swimming right after a heavy rain. Beyond the health concerns that E.coli bacteria can make you sick with stomach pains, rashes, breathing problems, diarrhea, or other intestinal problems, swimmers should also be mindful to only swim in areas that match their abilities and be aware of depths, obstructions and current.
Results from the water samples taken on July 31, 2014 are below. The amount of bacteria present in the water sample are elevated to a level which is not safe for swimming. An advisory was posted at the area on August 1, 2014.
FLAG: YELLOW Sample Date: 07/31/2014Status: Not Clean for Swimming, only BoatingCFU/100ml: 290.9