More Information on Our Fishkill Creek Testing Sites!

Site One
583 South Ave. Beacon, NY 12508
(41.489011, -73.97456)

Our first sample was taken at the bottom of the dam located in Madam Brett Mills Park. The samples of water were taken at the tail end of a waterfall, in a relatively sheltered pool. The site was located just upstream of an abandoned industrial building. This sampling site is within the tidal influence of the Hudson River Estuary, and is one of only two sample sites within the tidal influence. At the sample site, numerous species were present, including many common riparian plants such as Japanese Knotweed, and Alder, Cottonwood, and Sycamore trees.

Air Temp. (°C)22.4

Air Spd. (m/s)0

Water Temp. (°C)18.3

DO (mg/L)9.34

Turbidity (NTU)3.38

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)730

Nitrate (mg/L)1.8

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)150


Site Two
583 South Ave. Beacon, NY 12508
(41.489011, -73.97456)

While still at Madam Brett Mills Park, we sampled the wetlands region, created by the railroad bridge and the mouth of the Fishkill Creek. The vegetation included: cattails, and other wetland grasses in clusters of monoculture environments that result in the low diversity and high productivity of that particular environment. The samples were taken from the edge of the wetland near the inlet from the Fishkill Creek, and most of the tests were not performed on the samples due to the lack of equipment.

E. coliBacteria131


Site Three
8 E Main St. Beacon, NY 12508Site Three
(41.502391, -73.962077)

Site Three was a section of the Fishkill Creek that was dammed. The section was located in an urban environment next to railroad tracks. The portion tested was the water located above the dam. This water was very still and slightly turbid. This location had relatively high levels of both Nitrate and E. coli, compared to the other nine sites of samplings. This is most likely due to the proximity to an urban area. There were also many people walking by that could contribute to littering and contamination we saw present, such as garbage and soda cans, as well as their pets’ waste.

Air Temp. (°C)23.8

Air Spd. (m/s)0.3

Water Temp. (°C)18.7

DO (mg/L)8.71

Turbidity (NTU)3.96

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)737

Nitrate (mg/L)2.3

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)189


Site Four
60 Bridge St. Beacon, NY 12508
(41.511685, -73.949015)

The fourth location we sampled was under a bridge in a lightly developed residential area. The water here was flowing at a moderate rate after coming from a long, slow moving pool. The nitrate levels were very high, which probably caused the unpleasant smell under the bridge. It is also important to note that several pipes led to the river’s edge here. It is very likely that nitrogen loaded human waste is entering theFishkillthrough these pipes. The turbidity was also very high, which could be related to human waste disposal, or it could be caused by the disturbances to the riverbed that were made by students collecting data.

Air Temp. (°C)23.9

Air Spd. (m/s)0

Water Temp. (°C)19.5

DO (mg/L)9.21

Turbidity (NTU)5.86

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)711

Nitrate (mg/L)1.8

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)144


Site Five 
87 Maple St. Beacon, NY 12508
(41.517302, -73.93286)

Site Five was a section of the river that passed under an old, unused bridge. The water was constantly moving, but the dissolved oxygen was particularly low compared to other places along the river. This may be due to a lack of movement in the surface water upstream, thus causing the water in the river at this point in the river to be less aerated than other places. The pH of the water is slightly lower than other sites that were sampled, but the difference is so little that it probably does not have any significant meaning.

Air Temp. (°C)21.4

Air Spd. (m/s)0.7

Water Temp. (°C)18.9

DO (mg/L)7.06

Turbidity (NTU)3.95

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)698

Nitrate (mg/L)2.4

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)180


Site Six
90 W Merritt Blvd, Fishkill, NY 12524
(41.527913, -73.901178)

This controlled storm pond (also know as a Retention Basin) was created adjacent to an area that drains precipitation from rooftops of multiple commercial buildings and the associated non-porous shopping mall parking lot to prevent overload to the storm drainage system. Water flow into the pond is rapid in response to collection of the rainwater and release, or out flow, is slow.  This slow release of the water from the retention basin allows for evaporation of some water back into the atmosphere and for Hydrocarbons (from automobiles and oils on the parking pavement) to precipitate out and to be captured in the bottom sediment.  The hydrocarbons/pollutants captured in this way are prevented from entering the ground water. The sampling, however, was not from this basin; in fact it was in the Creek itself, just a few meters away from the basin, which was located behind Walmart. The surrounding area was littered with plastics, newspapers, and garbage bags, contributing to the pollution that is found in the creek.

Air Temp. (°C)26.8

Air Spd. (m/s)0

Water Temp. (°C)18.2

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)770

Nitrate (mg/L)1.8

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)144

Turbidity (NTU)3.53


Site Seven
88 Old Main St, Fishkill, NY 12524
(41.533102, -73.895384)

Sarah Taylor Park is a park along Fishkill, which offers visitors beautiful views of Fishkill Creek and excellent fishing opportunities as well as countless recreational activities such as soccer, and other athletic games on the park’s approximately 45 acres worth of land. The pristine little park sits tucked away behind Route 9, out of view of the main roads. When we conducted our water quality tests on the creek in Sarah Taylor Park we were able to better analyze the condition of the creek. After going out to the creek and collecting a sample to take ‘back to the lab’, we began conducting multiple tests. We determined there to be a half a meter per second wind blowing, and the temperature of the water was approximately 20 degrees Celsius. Using a probe device, we were able to also measure parameters such as dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity and the turbidity. The dissolved oxygen content was measured at 8.70ppm. Many aquatic organisms require oxygen to perform respiration, so variances in this number can equate to build ups in organic waste and fish kills. A stream usually has a ‘neutral’ pH range between 6-8ppm, making our reading a little bit higher than this average. Next, we measured the electrical conductivity to be 768 microsiemens. This gives us relevant information about the presence of anions and cations within the water body. The turbidity was measured to be 3.53, a generally low reading indicating that the waters of this creek were clear rather than murky. The nitrate content to be 1.7 mg/L indicating that this stream does not have high levels of pollution related to the run off of fertilizer or sewage.

Air Temp. (°C)24.1

Air Spd. (m/s)0.5

Water Temp. (°C)20.3

DO (mg/L)8.7

Turbidity (NTU)3.53

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)768

Nitrate (mg/L)1.7

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)220


Site Eight
39 Carol Dr, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
41.581861, -73.794217

If you want to stay healthy, we do not suggest you go swimming near site eight! Site eight had the highest E. coli contamination, which was observed to be 220 colonies per 100mL. The location of site eight was under a bridge off of Beekman Road in Hopewell Junction. Upon arrival, we noticed that there were many factors, which could lead to poor results. Factors of this sort include; chemicals that treat the wooden bridge, road salt on the banks of the creek, and trash bags littered along and in the water (even a box of Thin Mints!). The measurements in and around the environment of the testing area stood at a 26.5°C air temperature and a stationary wind velocity resting at zero m/s. The water was significantly cooler than the air temperature, which was measured at 16.2°C. The remaining on-site measurements were Turbidity and Electrical Conductivity of the creek, which were 4.32 NTU and 603µS/cm, respectively. Before leaving the site, samples of the water were filtered and placed on an agar plate, and cultivated for E. coli for approximately 24 hours. It is from these tests that we counted the 220 colony forming units of bacteria. We also tested the level of nitrate from the sample and found a concentration of 1.2 mg/L.

Air Temp. (°C)26.5

Air Spd. (m/s)0

Water Temp. (°C)16.2DO (mg/L)9.2

Turbidity (NTU)4.32

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)603

Nitrate (mg/L)1.2E. coli 

Bacteria (CFU/100mL)220



Site Nine
241 Bruzgul Rd, Lagrangeville, NY 12540
41.653836, -73.696461

Site Nine is located above the waterfall at Tymor Park, located in Union Vale, New York. Tymor Park is a 500-acre recreational land area surrounded by farmland and a few residential buildings. It is considerably less developed than some of the previous sampling sites. Just above where we sampled is a small road, located very close to the stream. Although it is not a high traffic road, the proximity of the road makes this portion of the river susceptible to contamination by motor vehicles. In the winter this could include contamination of salts from road treatment. We choose to take the sample above the waterfall. If we had taken it below the dissolved oxygen would have had a greater value. Although Tymor Park is one of the few publically protected areas along the Fishkill Creek, it is the third highest sampling site for E. colicontamination. The park has a policy of no dogs, but this policy is not strictly enforced which could contribute the contamination. If dogs are contributing to the contamination, it would be expected to see the highest spike in E. coli contamination following a rainfall.

Air Temp. (°C)24.4

Air Spd. (m/s)1

Water Temp. (°C)20.3DO (mg/L)8.7

Turbidity (NTU)5.77

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)340

Nitrate (mg/L)0.3E. coli 

Bacteria (CFU/100mL)183



Site Ten
687 W Clove Mountain Rd, Lagrangeville, NY 12540
(41.673088, -73.6758)

The final stop was the northernmost part of Fishkill creek where the water was just barely moving in a shallow stream. Usually, the higher the conductivity is, the more electrolytes in water, this because most of the salts can be ionized, thus conductivity can also indicates the amount of total dissolved solids in water. But in this case, conductivity here was extremely low compared to the earlier sites, except site 9, because this site is strictly freshwater and is not influenced by the mixing of oceanic and freshwaters like some of the earlier sites. It might because of the huge loss of the amount of electrolytes in the water since the more concentrated the electrolytes is in water, the more conductivity it will occur. This can also be because of the low conductivity in water; we can assume that the water here is purer than the former ones in terms of the amount of dissolved solutes contain in water. The creek was in a very natural state due to the lack of disturbance from human activity. Other than the nearby low-traffic road and a pheasant farm, the area was relatively clean and free of visible contamination.

Air Temp. (°C)26.7

Air Spd. (m/s)0

Water Temp. (°C)20.5

DO (mg/L)7.3

Turbidity (NTU)3.55

Electric Conductivity (μS/cm)325

Nitrate (mg/L)0.3

E. coli Bacteria (CFU/100mL)183