Surface Water Monitoring

Previously supported in part by a Clean Michigan Initiative grant and other funding sources, the Surface Water Monitoring Program was a service offered for the benefit of our community and our visitors who want to enjoy the recreational opportunities of our rivers. Weekly water samples were collected from numerous sampling stations along Saginaw County’s six rivers and analyzed for E. coli bacteria.

The objective of the monitoring program was to determine the health of our waterways so those who use our rivers for recreation could be informed about water quality concerns. Water samples were also collected following heavy rain events that resulted in the discharge of raw or partially treated sewage into our rivers. The sample results also helped to identify high bacteria "spikes" and develop strategies to address those problem areas.

Below are State standards concerning E. coli bateria levels in surface water:

  • 1,000 E. coli per 100 ml for one sampling event. Avoid all bodily contact.
  • 300 E. coli per 100 ml for one sampling event. Avoid contact that includes or could result in total submergence or potential swallowing of the water.
  • 130 E. coli per 100 ml over a 30 day sampling period. Avoid contact that includes or could result in total submergence or potential swallowing of the water.