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USGS to test water quality following Hurricane Sandy


Experts will be test water quality in areas hardest hit by Sandy (courtesy: Victoria Marshner)
Experts will be test water quality in areas hardest hit by Sandy (courtesy: Victoria Marshner)

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

November 4, 2012 — U.S. Geological Survey is sending crews to assess water quality following Hurricane Sandy.

USGS crews will be sampling water for contaminants like pesticides, E. coli bacteria and sediment in areas hardest hit by Sandy.

The project is part of a nation-wide effort to ensure public health and safety following the super storm.

"Significant high water events are important to document, because a storm ... like this can flush large quantities of nutrients, pesticides, and sediment into rivers," said Charles Crawford, coordinator of the sampling effort, in a statement. "When looking at long-term water quality trends and year-to-year variation, this hurricane could be a defining event for the past few decades, and itís important that USGS captures a complete picture of what happens."

Officials are concerned about excessive nutrient build-up, which can cause dangerous toxic algal blooms to form.

Sampling will take place in various states, including: New Jersey, Pennsylvania Maryland and Virginia.

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