Analyses conducted by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program in Saint John have indicated substantial improvements to the quality of water in Marsh Creek in 2014. The most notable change was the decrease in faecal coliform bacteria, which are used as an indicator for the potential presence of other disease causing pathogens such as amoebic dysentery and Hepatitis. Sampling conducted during 2014 along the lowest 400 m of the creek - which has historically received the greatest volume of untreated municipal wastewater - has shown decreases in faecal bacteria counts ranging from 95 to 99%, as compared to results from 2013.
While the levels of bacteria still remain on average above the federal recreational water safety guidelines of 200 counts/100 ml at all sites tested, the substantial improvements in water quality are very encouraging, suggesting that the City of Saint John’s ongoing efforts to complete Harbour Cleanup are beginning to pay dividends. ACAP staff have also noted that, in addition to observed improvements in the clarity of the water in Marsh Creek, there have been no calls received from the public complaining about the offensive odours that have historically plagued this area of the city.
For more information contact Graeme Stewart-Robertson at 652-2227.