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FoRR took to the river in mid-April to monitor our five sites along the Reedy River. Our sites include the following:
Site #1: Reedy River just downstream of Swamp Rabbit Cafe
Site #2: A small tributary of the Reedy River in Falls Park
Site #3: Reedy River on Mauldin Road upstream of ReWa's headquarters
Site #4: Reedy River on Greenville Tech's Brashier campus in Simpsonville
Site #5: Reedy River in Cedar Falls Park in Simpsonville
Sites 1 through 3 in the Greenville area were monitored on April 17. Sites 4 and 5 were monitored by the Simpsonville team on April 21.
The pH results for April were consistent with our findings in March, with sites showing only small changes from last month’s results, if any, at the sites that were sampled.
The air and water temperatures for the Greenville sites in April were much warmer than the air and water temperatures recorded in March (almost double). Air temperatures at all sites rose between 6 – 7℃ from the temperatures the month prior, with temperatures ranging from 14℃ to 19℃. Water temperatures also increased in April, rising between 5℃ to 7℃ at each site from the results collected in March.
The dissolved oxygen (DO) results from April ranged from 7.6 mg/L at Falls Park to 8.5 mg/L at Greenville Tech Brashier. While still well above the state-wide average of 5 mg/L, this range of DO levels is much lower than the results we found in March. The Greenville sites showed decreases in DO ranging from a 1.7 mg/L decrease at the Mauldin Road site to a 2.1 mg/L decrease at the Swamp Rabbit Café site location. Because warmer water has lower capacity for DO, it makes sense that the DO levels for April were much lower than March given the drastic temperature shifts. We expect the DO levels to continue to decrease as temperatures increase throughout the spring and summer.
The E. coli bacteria results were relatively low in April, with an average across all five sites of only 119.80 cfu/100mL. The Swamp Rabbit Café and Greenville Tech Brashier sites had the lowest levels, at 100 cfu/100mL each. This was a slight increase from the March results at Swamp Rabbit Café, but these results are still considered well below the “high bacteria” threshold of 349 cfu/100mL. The other three sites (Falls Park, Mauldin Road, and Cedar Falls Park) all had 133 cfu/100mL. Water levels were slightly lower than usual at the Greenville sites, and the water was flowing clear. From this, we can infer that the flows were lower and that the sediments in the riverbed were not disturbed or agitated which means that the E. coli sequestered in the riverbed sediments was not disturbed and that runoff levels had likely been low prior to the sampling events, both of which can lead to low E. coli levels during sampling. As temperatures continue to rise, we may see E. coli counts increase, and will continue to monitor monthly to ensure the levels stay within the state standards.
April’s results and the SC state standards are included for comparison below. All results were within SC state standards.
April 2023 Monitoring Results: