• The Deerfield River is tributary to the Connecticut River, depicted here in Thomas Cole's famous 1836 painting

  • The Deerfield River in its floodplain eroding through the red sandstone that makes up Mount Sugarloaf.

  • Swimming hole on the Deerfield (photo: Art Schwenger)

  • Rafters enjoying a summer day on the river (Photo: Art Schwenger)

  • Sunset during December over the Deerfield Valley (photo: A Schwenger)

  • Autumn along the Deerfield RIver

Water Quality

The Deerfield River is one of the most pristine rivers in Massachusetts. Due to cool temperatures, high oxygen content, and neutral rather than acidic conditions, the river is home to a variety of aquatic life. Despite ten dams and five waste water treatment plants on its river shores, the watershed is not densely populated and most of the land use is forests. Because the river is clean and scenic, it is used heavily for recreation. DRWA has been documenting the water quality in the main stem and tributaries since 1990. Currently we monitor the river for temperature, pH and alkalinity in the spring and temperature and E. coli bacteria in the summer. Previous years’ data can be found in the archived data.

Recently we have monitored E. coli, but concentrated on the North and South Rivers to bracket unknown sources of bacteria on those two rivers, thanks to the 604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Grant Program administered by the MA DEP and in cooperation with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. See our DEP and EPA approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (pdf). Results for the season will posted here soon.

In addition, we have treasure trove of water quality data from the early 2000′s.  These data are housed on an old website and can be accessed here.

EPA Assessment Data for Deerfield Watershed, 2002