CONTACT: Mike Matthews, Public Affairs Specialist, (202) 536-7666 desk, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, DC, June 21, 2018 — The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) awarded a grant to Anacostia Riverkeeper to develop a volunteer based program to monitor the levels of bacteria including E. coli in the District of Columbia’s surface waters.
The project will recruit a diverse group of District residents from all 8 wards to sample water for E. coli from areas along District waters where residents and visitors recreate. Monitoring will take place during the primary recreational season, May to September, and the data will be accessible through an on-line portal.
The District continues to make progress on efforts to reduce bacteria loading to local waterways. This progress includes the March 2018 completion of the first Anacostia River tunnel by DC Water’s Clean River project that will reduce combined sewer overflows into the Anacostia River by approximately 80%, and numerous Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) drainage areas.
The monitoring effort will be a tool for evaluating the impact these significant capital investments may have in reducing bacteria, in addition to providing timely data to stakeholders who may choose to recreate in District waters.
“This initiative presents a tremendous opportunity for DOEE, Anacostia Riverkeeper, and its partners to work together with residents on water quality issues,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “The volunteer monitoring program will provide valuable and accessible water quality data for residents and visitors, so they can make informed decision before recreating in District waters. This project represents an important step toward our goal of swimmable rivers for District residents.”
For more information on water quality, please visit DOEE’s website at: https://doee.dc.gov/service/water-quality-regulations