Water Pollution Hot Spots: Fall Update

We've resolved six hot spots in total and hope to resolve more before our first season is over.


NepRWA staff investigating a “hot spot”.

Last year, we challenged you to raise $30,000 to create an investigative monitoring program, which would target known pollution “hot spots” throughout the watershed. Over 300 families answered the challenge, exceeding our goal by over $5,000 and making it possible to launch the Hot Spot Program.

Investigating hot spots has taken NepRWA staff bushwhacking all over the watershed in search of pollution sources. Over the course of four months, we’ve investigated everything from suspected sewage leaks to reports of strange looking algae, and we’ve solved some long standing mysteries along the way.

We’ve explored hot spots in Milton, Canton, Sharon, Walpole, Foxborough, Norwood, and Westwood. In Milton and Canton combined, we found four suspected sewage leaks.

One of the biggest successes this season was locating two sources of sewage pollution along Unquity Brook in Milton.

Our CWMN data have documented high E.coli levels in Unquity Brook for years, but we had never been able to find the source until this year’s hot spot investigations uncovered two points where sewage was getting into the brook. We are now working with the town to get them fixed.

We’re currently tracking dangerously low dissolved oxygen levels in Foxborough and Walpole and are looking into reports of soapy discharges in Sharon. In Norwood and Westwood, we’re investigating high levels of E.coli and past reports of sewage contamination.

We’ve resolved six hot spots in total and hope to resolve more before our first season is over.  None of this would have been possible without the generous donations from our members, and we are very thankful!

If you suspect a “hot spot” in your community, please let us know by emailing NepRWA Environmental Scientist, Chris Hirsch hirsch@neponset.org or calling 781-575-0354 x302.

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