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Union River Study to begin August 6

Release Date: 08/06/2007
Contact Information: Tim Bridges, U.S. EPA, Office: (617) 918-8603; cell (617) 223-1373 Don Albert, ME Dept. of Environmental Protection, (207) 287-3901

(Boston -- August 6, 2007) - Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England Regional Laboratory will begin a sediment oxygen demand (SOD) study of the Union River in the estuary area south of Ellsworth, Maine on August 6th. EPA’s Tim Bridges, Tom Faber, Cynthia Veit and interns will collect sediments in the Union River for analysis of Sediment Oxygen Demand (SOD), total organic carbon and grain size.

SOD studies investigate the rate that dissolved oxygen (DO) is removed from the water column due to the decomposition of organic material in the sediments. SOD may be a major cause of low dissolved oxygen (DO) in water bodies. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) will use SOD rates for modeling the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of the Union River.

EPA staff will set up the Biology Mobile Laboratory for onsite SOD analysis at the town of Ellsworth Boat Launching Area in Ellsworth, Maine and will collect data from five stations along the river between Ellsworth and Surry.

More information:

- EPA sediment oxygen demand research in New England (

- How EPA and states use total maximum daily load information to protect waterways (

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