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Sleuthing for Toilets that Flush into Salem Sound

Rebecca J. Dupont-Coutu, Senior Project Scientist with New England Civil Engineering Corp joins Barbara Warren of Salem Sound Coastwatch to talk with Rob about disentangling septic systems from storm water overflow pipes in order to obtain cleaner waters in the harbor.  25 years ago Salem Harbor Monitors took two buckets of dissolved oxygen and salinity instruments along with a secchi disc down to the shore to check water conditions.  What they began continues today with citizen scientists also monitoring where pipes meet the sea.  When something becomes stinky, Rebecca is the one they call to pop manhole covers and send snaky video cameras through the pipes.  Rebecca also visits homes to flush dies to discover what’s leaking into storm drains.  Sometimes it’s those Tom Swifty swipes that clog up the flow.  Harbor waters continue to become cleaner as Rebecca and Salem Sound Coastwatch sleuth out the sources and checks the flow of dirty water.