Find Us On FaceBook
     
     
You are here:  Home > Departments > Public Services > Water Treatment > Pine River Water Quality
     

Pine River Water Quality

 

In 2014, a group of Alma College professors and students presented data about the Pine River to the Alma City Commission. Their studies indicated that the Pine River has been adversely impacted by the Honeyoey Creek.  According to the study, the river over the past decade has experienced:

         Increased amounts of aquatic vegetation

         Increased siltation and turbidity

         Higher concentrations of nutrients like ammonia and phosphorus

         Lower dissolved oxygen levels

The study has concluded that the primary cause of water quality degradation is from animal waste.

The City of Alma and the City of Saint Louis are concerned about the ramifications of the study if the results are accurate. Through the Gratiot Area Water Authority, the two cities are testing the Pine River to verify the results. 

The Authority and Alma College partnered to conduct E. coli testing of the Pine River in three locations in the summer of 2015 following the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality protocols.  E. coli was selected because it is the one issue with the clearest state standard to measure the impact on human health.  It is important to recognize that E. coli will be present in even the most pristine natural environments.  There are many natural sources such as geese, deer and other wild life.  It is the elevated levels of E. coli that trigger violations of the water quality standard. 

The City of Alma is not able to determine the source of the contaminants nor is it an enforcement agency.  The State of Michigan is responsible for the water quality of rivers.  Under MDEQ and EPA standards, the daily maximum water quality standard is 300 E. coli colonies per 100 ml (as a geometric mean of three samples).   Under MDEQ guidance, once the water exceeds the standard, the water should be avoided for human contact and caution should be exercised until the counts drop below 130 colonies per 100 milliliters.

The results for the summer of 2015 were conducted using the MDEQ testing protocols. After August 2015, the City of Alma continued to test but only pulled single samples at each location. As such, the tests do not meet the MDEQ criteria for posting of warning.  The tests results are consistent with the previous tests and should serve as an advisory for people planning to swim in the Pine River.

Our test results are as follows:

E. Coli Colonies

Harrison Road Bridge

Riverview Drive Arcada

State Street Bridge

July 17, 2015

857

882

108

July 20, 2015

308

337

103

July 23, 2015

369

321

44

July 27, 2015

397

478

40

August 3, 2015

933

688

603

August 6, 2015

517

300

67

August 12, 2015

500

423

93

August 12, 2015

473

450

84

August 17, 2015

389

121

727

September 9, 2015

620

546

135

September 14, 2015

404

288

110

October 14, 2015

305

384

122

October 19, 2015

211

218

63

November 11, 2015

135

158

146

November 16, 2015

132

109

132

December 9, 2015

173

132

131

December 14, 2015

292

3255

573

January 13, 2016

131

86

74

January 15, 2016

74

75

75

February 10, 2016

52

158

85

February 15, 2016

10

63

March 9, 2016

160

97

228

March 14, 2016

41

216

292

April 13, 2016

31

107

41

April 18, 2016

359

86

75

May 11, 2016

135

171

41

May 16, 2016

160

109

97

June 8, 2016

161

556

41

June 13, 2016

404

231

85

July 13, 2016

288

908

52

July 18, 2016

627

262

63

August 11, 2016

231

816

10

August 15, 2016

605

613

84

September 14, 2016

323

345

108

September 20, 2016

487

243

98

October 12, 2016

18

26

10

October 17, 2016

860

1019

495



 © 2011 - 2017   City of Alma by AccuNet Web Services