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For about a decade I or other members of my family have been collecting water samples in the Souhegan River every two weeks in the summer. They’re used for tests of dissolve oxygen and bacteria in a program overseen by the Souhegan Watershed Association. The picture above shows the twist-it bag I used today for the E. coli sampling.

A couple dozen volunteers gather samples in the river, as well as the Manchester-to-Mass. portions of the Merrimack River, to keep an eye on the health of the local waterways. The health is good: dissolved oxygen (a good general measure of river health) is always good, and the bacteria levels are usually low unless there’s been a heavy rain that washes lots of crap into the water.

You could call this citizen science, because it sounds cool, but I call it an excuse to splash in the river before work.

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