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Previous Bacteriological Monitoring Reports

2013 Report

Impaired Segments

During the summer of 2013, we took bacteriological samples from 8 stream locations in Chartiers Creek Watershed—for a second set of 5 consecutive weeks—to complete the sampling begun in summer 2012. Samples were sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) for analysis. The results show that Chartiers Creek—from the Chartiers Run confluence in Houston downstream to the confluence with Little Chartiers Creek (21.144 miles)—is impaired for Recreational Use, based on the fecal coliform data collected from the 8 stations.

Impaired segments will appear on Category 5 of the upcoming 2014 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report. Integrated reports include waters that are impaired (not supporting) for at least one protected use (aquatic life, fish consumption, potable water supply, and recreation) and require the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). A TMDL is the allowable pollutant load that does not violate water quality standards. In addition, these reports consist of the following: .
  • A narrative that describes the various programs and activities within the DEP relating to water quality.

  • A five-category list that details the water quality status of the surface waters of the Commonwealth.

2012 Report

New Segments for Recreation

Good news! Results of the 2012 bacterial sampling show that, based on this data, the portion of Chartiers Creek Watershed that includes six of the stations monitored during summer 2012 is attaining “Recreational Use.”

The following areas are found to be in attainment for Recreation:
  1. Chartiers Creek from the mouth of Little Chartiers Creek to the mouth of Brush Run at Valley Brook Road

  2. A small unnamed tributary to Chartiers Creek located along Hahn Road

  3. Little Chartiers Creek from its mouth at Chartiers Creek upstream to and beyond the bridge at Linden Road

This portion of the creek will be placed on the Category 2 List of the 2014 Integrated Water Quality Report compiled by the PA DEP. This report lists one or more uses attaining, which include Aquatic Life, Fish Consumption, Potable Water Supply, and Recreation.

To be in attainment for Recreation, a stream must be sampled for two sets of five consecutive weeks, and the lab tests must find that geometric means of the fecal coliform counts (cfu/100 ml.) for the two sets are less than 200 cfu/100 ml, the Pennsylvania Chapter 93 Water Quality Standard.

The data at the Morganza Road site on Chartiers Creek was inconclusive. The geometric mean calculated over the sampling days in July was less than a geometric mean of 200 cfu/100 mL, while the geometric mean calculated over the sampling days in August through early September of 2012 was greater than a geometric mean of 200 cfu/100 mL. So, in order to create an assessment, we conducted one more 30-day monitoring period last summer (2013), when we collected 5 additional samples. The results of this sampling appear at the beginning of this report.

Integrated Reports are available for public review on the PA DEP website:

2009-10 Report

In the summer of 2009, members of the Chartiers Creek Watershed Association collected water samples for bacteriological analysis from two locations in Chartiers Creek. The sampling locations were near the intersection of Route 18 and Old Scales Road in South Franklin Township and near Scotty’s on Route 18 in North Franklin Township.

Four different locations were sampled in the summer of 2010—one each on Chartiers Run and Georges Run, and two on Little Chartiers Creek.

The sampling and analysis was conducted for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Bureau of Water Quality Standards and Facility Regulation. The bacteria monitoring is being completed for Recreational Use Assessment of streams in Pennsylvania.

The 2009 findings resulted in the PADEP designating the two sampled segments of Chartiers Creek as “impaired” because all the water samples exceeded the summertime maximum standard for fecal coliform (E. coli) of 200 cfu/100 ml (that is, 200 colony-forming units per 100 milliliter of stream water). Potential sources of E. coli include natural sources (wildlife such as deer and geese), livestock and horses on farms in the watershed, and malfunctioning sewage treatment plants and individual on-lot septic systems.

An early report indicates similar results for the 2010 samples.

PA DEP will list the impairment decision for the two Chartiers Creek stream segments in their 2010 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Based on the impairment decision, a TMDL (Total Daily Maximum Load) for bacteria will be completed for the stream segments in the future.


2008 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report:

Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Part 130 – Water Quality Planning and Management

Pennsylvania Code Chapter 93 – Water Quality Standards.

U.S. EPA. Clean Water Act, Section 303.

(To view the state 303(d) list of impaired waters, go to Use the following keywords: Water, Water Quality, and finally Integrated Water Quality List for 2008.)

To view / print the entire Project Summary Report as a PDF document, click here

Stream Sampling

CCWA Member Josh Dunkle taking a water sample for testing for bacteria.
Photo by Carrilee Hemington