Enterococcus is an EPA-approved fecal contamination indicator.
Samples taken by citizen scientists and processed at laboratories that aren't directly affiliated with Riverkeeper, using methods and study designs that are consistent with Riverkeeper's Hudson River and Citizen Testing programs.
The Quassaick Creek originates in the Town of Plattekill in Ulster County, and then flows south into Orange County. The Creek flows through the Town and City of Newburgh, and then close by the Newburgh-New Windsor boundary before joining the Hudson River south of the Newburgh waterfront. There are substantial wetland and forested areas along the creek corridor in the northern watershed, while the southern watershed is characterized by urban land use.
The Creek’s two major tributaries—Bushfield Creek and Gidneytown Creek—flow roughly parallel to the Quassaick’s main stem to the west and east, respectively. Both tributaries join the main Quassaick Creek in the Town of Newburgh.
The topographical watershed area contains the Chadwick Lake (Town of Newburgh) and Washington Lake (City of Newburgh) drinking water reservoirs. In addition, water from Silver Stream Reservoir (also known as Brown’s Pond), located in the adjacent Moodna Creek watershed, is diverted into the Quassaick Creek watershed at Washington Lake.
Citizen sampling in the Quassaick Creek watershed was spearheaded by the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, whose members manage the sampling program. Riverkeeper helped the Alliance select sample sites, train citizen scientists and otherwise ensure that data collection is consistent with methods used by Riverkeeper in other tributary watersheds. We will continue to collaborate with QCWA on publishing data, interpreting results and addressing contamination problems identified in the study. QCWA members test the water in the Quassaick Creek watershed twice per month.
In recent years, the QCWA has focused on creating the Quassaick Creek Watershed Plan, which was completed in June 2014. QCWA’s citizen sampling partnership with Riverkeeper fulfills two of the priority actions identified in the plan—promoting watershed awareness and stream monitoring.