Fundación Surfrider Rincón

News and Updates

Water Quality results for Nov 22: Yellow alerts for Parque Vacacional and Tres Hermanos in Añasco.
www.surfrider.org/blue-water-task-force/chapter/4
BWTF data also available at: www.caricoos.org/ecosystem-and-water-quality

La calidad del agua en la Bahía de Mayagüez probablemente seguirá siendo deficiente para los próximos días. Los suelos locales todavía están bastante saturados por las lluvias recientes, por lo que cualquier lluvia adicional significativa afectará la WQ de las playas en nuestra área también.

Water quality in Mayaguez Bay will probably continue to be poor for the next several days. Local soils are still fairly saturated from the recent rains, so any additional significant rainfall will impact beach WQ in our area as well.
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Water Filtering Systems Comparison tests Nov 17: These tests were conducted in collaboration with our long-term partners Paul Sturm of Ridge to Reefs, with the able assistance of Ben Covan (at left in photo of the crew in our Costa Salud, Community Health Center lab) and Juan Flores (center, Paul to right) using the Ojo de Agua as source water.
As you can see from the spreadsheet screen capture, all systems performed equally well removing fecal bacteria from the source water (I would have been shocked if they hadn't), and had varying performance with other basic parameters. The real question might be answered in a week or so, when the trays of sample water are re-tested - if they show any fluorescence such as shown by the Ojo de Agua sample trays, this will indicate that some other type of microorganisms were not filtered out.
Part of the intermediate and long term goals of the Post-Maria Sampling program (with our partner RBC Maria Relief) will be to continue to assess various filtration methods for efficiency, ease of use, cost etc. for possible inclusion into community resiliency building in regards to potable water. In some areas it might make more sense to develop household rainwater catchment & filter systems, other areas might require temporary high output systems like the Divvy, in places maybe capping springs would be more cost effective... we just don't know yet. But the chapter is already reaching out to potential future partners and funding sources for these long term efforts to avoid similar crises regarding reasonably safe drinking water under emergency conditions.
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Maricao freshwater sampling results.
El programa de Post-Maria Sampling está desarrollando un programa 'remoto' para que otras comunidades lo copien para determinar la calidad del agua de los sitios que utilizan para acceder al agua potable. Nuestro proyecto piloto para esto está en Maricao a través de la escuela secundaria allí, y la foto muestra a nuestro enlace de facultad Peter Frau entregando sus muestras a Steve Tamar. Como puede ver en la captura de pantalla de la hoja de cálculo, también estamos probando otros parámetros comunes de WQ así como también bacterias. Estamos verificando la precisión y la facilidad de uso para varios métodos de prueba que no requieren mucha capacitación o que necesitan electricidad para realizar, y pronto proporcionarán a los estudiantes estos métodos de prueba. La otra foto muestra a Terry Norman demostrando un nuevo método de prueba para detectar E. Coli, que no requiere incubación: estamos bastante satisfechos de cuán bien esta prueba se ajusta a los resultados generados por la prueba IDEXX de nivel EPA, para niveles moderados de contaminación de E. Coli. Una bolsa (amarilla) no muestra la presencia de esta bacteria, la otra bolsa (azul) muestra un alto nivel de bacterias.
Se espera que al permitir que la comunidad realice sus propias pruebas básicas de WQ, esto los haga más conscientes de este problema y ayude animar nuestros esfuerzos para instalar los sistemas de filtración de agua adecuados (también están siendo probados por nuestro laboratorio, el próximo informe) en las zonas que no tienen acceso seguro a agua limpia potable en situaciones de emergencia, apagones, etc.

The Post-Maria Sampling program is developing a 'remote' program for other communities to copy for determining the water quality of sites they use to access potable water. Our pilot project for this is in Maricao via the high school there, and the one photo shows our faculty liason Peter Frau delivering their samples to Steve Tamar. As you can see from the spreadsheet screenshot, we are also testing for several other common WQ parameters as well as bacteria! We are verifying the accuracy and ease of use for various test methods that do not require much training, or need electricity to conduct, and will soon provide the students with these test methods. The other photo shows Terry Norman demonstrating a new test method for detecting E. Coli, which does not require incubation - we have been fairly happy with how well this test conforms to results generated by the EPA level IDEXX testing, for moderate levels of E. Coli contamination. The one bag (yellow) show no presence of this bacteria, the other bag (blue) shows high level of bacteria.
It is hoped that by allowing the community to conduct their own basic WQ testing themselves, this will make them more aware of this issue - and help encourage our effort to instal the appropriate water filtering systems (also being tested by our lab, the next report) in areas that do not have secure access to clean potable water during emergencies, power failures, etc.
RBC Maria Relief Costa Salud, Community Health Center Surfrider Foundation
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Freshwater tests from Nov 14 - jeez, if the internet gets any slower I could deliver these results by hand, jajaja.

Anyway, two things to take note of: the moderate rainfall during the days before this sampling date are affecting the non-point sources WQ, and you have to regard them as similar to quebradas in this regard. Any spring or well which is not contained in some sort of structure or box, and whose outflow is not channeled by a pipe, faucet, hose etc. is considered a non-point source for this report.
Also, you notice the disclaimer about E. Coli results has been eliminated. This is due to some fast work by Surfrider Foundation and especially Mara Hogan Dias, the national BWTF coordinator, who expedited delivery of the needed controls and lab comparators for these new tests to the RBC Maria Relief center. As I suspected, we were in fact interpreting these test results correctly, and all bacterial counts coming out of our lab at
Costa Salud, Community Health Center now conform to EPA-level standards for accuracy.

Dos cosas a tener en cuenta: la lluvia moderada durante los días previos a esta fecha de muestreo está afectando WQ a las fuentes no puntuales, y debe considerarlas similares a las quebradas en este aspecto. Cualquier manantial o pozo que no esté contenido en algún tipo de estructura o caja, y cuyo flujo de salida no sea canalizado por una tubería, grifo, manguera, etc. se considera una fuente no puntual para este informe.
Además, nota que el descargo de responsabilidad sobre los resultados de E. Coli ha sido eliminado. Esto se debe a un trabajo rápido realizado por Surfrider Foundation y especialmente a Mara Dias, la coordinadora nacional de BWTF, que agilizó la entrega de los controles necesarios y los comparadores de laboratorio para estas nuevas pruebas al RBC Maria Relief center. Como sospechaba, de hecho, estábamos interpretando los resultados de estas pruebas correctamente, y todos los recuentos bacterianos que salen de nuestro laboratorio en Costa Salud ahora cumplen con los estándares de precisión de la EPA.
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BWTF Water Quality results for Nov. 15: Red Alert for Corcega, very high Yellow Alert levels for Bal. Tres Hermanos and Parque Vacacional in Añasco.
www.surfrider.org/blue-water-task-force/chapter/4
BWTF results also available at: www.caricoos.org/ecosystem-and-water-quality

Como muestra la foto de Alexis Henriquez en el sitio de Corcega, hay docenas de ejemplos de muelles fallidos que han expuesto antiguas instalaciones sépticas, así como también (recientemente activo) infraestructura séptica y de alcantarillado en ciertas áreas de la costa de Rincón. En este caso, es poco probable que este antiguo tanque séptico sea responsable del alto conteo de bacterias en este sitio, por supuesto. Pero el capítulo está trabajando con la comunidad costera local para identificar las tuberías de agua potable y de aguas residuales rotas o dañadas para crear un informe que se incluirá en el documento de evaluación costera post- huracane para FEMA y, por supuesto, AAA. Si desea ayudar con esto, inscríbase en la lista en el centro de RBC María Relief en el American Legion Post.

As the photo of Alex at the Corcega site shows, there are dozens of examples of failed seawalls that have exposed old septic installations, as well as (recently) active septic and sewage infrastructure in certain areas of the Rincón coast! In this instance, it is unlikely that this old septic tank is responsible for the high bacterial count at this site, of course. But the chapter is working with the local coastal community to identify broken or damaged potable and sewage water pipes to create a report to to be included in the post-hurricane coastal assessment document for FEMA and, certainly, AAA. If you want to help with this, sign up on the list at the RBC Maria Relief center at the American Legion post.
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Protegiendo nuestras playas, arrecifes y aguas desde 2001
Protecting our beaches, reefs and waters since 2001