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Nashua;55.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/bkn.png;2014-10-30 12:35:33
Monday, July 28, 2014

How many days are swimming holes closed?

Letter to the Editor

In his article “E. coli can’t live free or die in our rivers; N.H. standards are unusually strict” (The Telegraph, July 28), David Brooks did an excellent job of exposing the unduly fuzzy underpinnings of New Hampshire’s limits on swimming-water bacteria counts. And the state Department of Environmental Services does a fine job of making the raw data available on the Web.

What was missing was a quantitative picture of just how many days New Hampshire citizens are prevented from swimming because of the state’s zealous rule-setting, instead of using national EPA standards. The loss of recreational opportunities is a different kind of risk than an occasional earache, but no less real and important. Sorting through the available DES data and compiling such a summary would make a great student research project. ...

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In his article “E. coli can’t live free or die in our rivers; N.H. standards are unusually strict” (The Telegraph, July 28), David Brooks did an excellent job of exposing the unduly fuzzy underpinnings of New Hampshire’s limits on swimming-water bacteria counts. And the state Department of Environmental Services does a fine job of making the raw data available on the Web.

What was missing was a quantitative picture of just how many days New Hampshire citizens are prevented from swimming because of the state’s zealous rule-setting, instead of using national EPA standards. The loss of recreational opportunities is a different kind of risk than an occasional earache, but no less real and important. Sorting through the available DES data and compiling such a summary would make a great student research project.

Gene Porter

Nashua