Healthy Maine Beaches Program
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The Goosefare Brook forms the border between the towns of Saco to the south and Old Orchard Beach (OOB) to the north. Maine Healthy Beaches (MHB) has supported multi-year enhanced monitoring and pollution source tracking efforts, held Stakeholder Workshops, and more to address impaired water quality throughout the watershed. Over the past three years, MHB has focused primarily on OOB’s New Salt Rd. Tributary (NSRT). In 2014, 180 enterococci (ENT) samples at 17 sites and 149 optical brightener (OB) samples at 16 sites were analyzed. ENT values ranged from6,490 MPN/100mls with a combined geometric mean of 275 MPN for all sites. OB values ranged from 34 to 163 μg/l with a combined mean of 92 μg/l for all sites. Deviations from the NSRT-wide ENT geometric mean and mean OB values were also considered for each site. Seven sites located within the GFB-01 and GFB-05 series exhibited positive deviations from the NSRT-wide overall ENT geometric mean and 6 sites (largely within the GFB-05 series) demonstrated positive deviations from the OB mean. Results indicate widespread bacterial contamination throughout the tributary as well as priority areas likely impacted by human-sourced fecal contamination. Additionally, ENT levels appear to be increasing in the NSRT since 2012. As part of ongoing efforts to address water quality in the brook, both towns have investigated and removed sources of human wastewater and have expanded and upgraded sewer and stormwater infrastructure. Additionally, the towns worked together to acquire supplemental funding and have initiated a watershed management plan. However, persistent contamination issues underscore the need to continue investigations to ensure the integrity of wastewater disposal methods throughout the watershed.
Sims, M. and Kaczor, K., "Maine Healthy Beaches Program: Summary Report of Enhanced Monitoring and Pollution Source Tracking Efforts in the New Salt Rd. Tributary, Goosefare Brook, Old Orchard Beach, Maine 2012-2014" (2015). Maine Sea Grant Publications. 47.
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