Salem Sound Rivers and Brooks
Under the Federal Clean Water Act, states are required to identify and list waterbodies that are threatened or not meeting water quality standards despite controls on point source discharges. This list is the "Massachusetts Integrated List of Waters" or 303(d) list and is updated every two years by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
For Massachusetts Year 2012 Integrated List of Waters, Salem Sound watershed is in the North Coastal.
As you can see most of Salem Sound waterbodies are listed as Category 5.
Category 5 means the waterbody is Impaired for one or more designated uses and requires the development of a TMDL. There are no TMDLs for our region yet. For Salem Sound, the impairment is caused by bacterial contamination.
This is way SSCW's Clean Beaches & Streams Program is so important. Since 1993 when with 100 volutneers we surveyed the entire shoreline for outfall pipes and streams. Since then, we have targeted outfalls and streams that flow year round testing the water for bacteria.
Category 1 Attaining all designated uses: drinking, swimming, recreation, and fishing. Category 2 Attaining some of the designated uses and insufficient or no data and information is available to determine if the remaining uses are attained. Category 3 Insufficient or no data and information to determine if any designated uses are attained.
To learn more about the North River in Peabody and Salem.
To learn more about the Sawmill Brook, Manchester-by-the-Sea.