I accompanied Gordon Stuart Saturday morning while he collected water samples from the Presumpscot River on behalf of the Presumpscot River Watch (PRW).
Stuart, a retired hydrologist from the U.S. Forest Service, has volunteered for the non-profit organization since he returned to Westbrook ten years ago (he spent summers visiting his grandparents in the Seavey Street home in which he now lives) and spends a couple hours every other Saturday collecting scientific data for PRW.
Focusing on three different locations--behind Warren Memorial Library, behind the Rent-A-Center on Main Street, and Gorham's Tannery Brook (think Route 114, just beyond the University of Southern Maine)--Stuart monitors the river's water temperature, its dissolved oxygen content, and bags a sample of water from each site to be tested for E. coli at the PRW's office on South Street in Gorham (the PRW has adopted method of testing developed by the Westbrook-based Idexx Laboratories).
Anyway, Stuart is one of 10-12 volunteers who help the PRW collect data from 30-35 different locations along the Presumpscot and its tributaries.
- John C.L. Morgan