Elevated bacteria levels in the Spruce Creek Watershed have led to shellfish bed closures in the Spruce Creek Estuary and impaired waters listings by the State of Maine. Since 2005, the Town of Kittery, Spruce Creek Association and numerous partners have assessed the local waters to attempt to determine the sources of bacteria impairment. Stormwater outfalls and residential septic systems have been identified as potential sources of impairment. To help address these concerns, the Town of Kittery received a grant in 2009 through the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership to further investigate potential bacteria hotspots. Project staff worked with Federal, State and local partners to identify potential hotspots through targeted fecal coliform testing and testing and analysis for optical brighteners. Spring and autumn testing revealed elevated levels of bacteria which has led to immediate repair of a school septic system, and further assessment of a residential neighborhood.
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, Durham, NH
Town of Kittery, ME and FB Environmental Associates, Inc., "Optical Brightener Study of Spruce Creek" (2010). PREP Reports & Publications. 118.