“What is the oily scum on the Exeter River”

This is a search query that ended up on the Crier last week. Since some call the Squamscott the Exeter, I will post a few photos of scum or oily sheen from both bodies of water. These are recent photos.

This first photo I took this past weekend, while strolling with Doozie  near Gilman  Park  crossing the foot bridge. This is an oily sheen and it certainly could be moving  into the Exeter from this arm of Little River. When I snapped it the  other day I remembered a pic I took in 2009 during the river draw down, when the River’s secrets were revealed , like that stolen police cruiser. I saw an old engine block in the  mud near the foot bridge, and they can leak oil, forever, enough to cause a sheen.

This is that  engine block pic taken during the draw down.

The next three photos are of scum on the Squamscott. I used to make phone calls, once it triggered some testing. It is a huge process and seemed to me to be creating a problem for those responsible. So I don’t call anymore. It was once theorized to me regarding one reported sheen that someone had emptied their holding tank into a stream, and it wended it’s way  down to the Squamscott. An RV perhaps, or a honey truck. I’d like to catch someone doing that anywhere.

This last one is more typical of what I see on the Squamscott on a regular basis. This plume often extends for 4 miles towards  Great Bay.

I have no  zinger to  close this post.


4 thoughts on ““What is the oily scum on the Exeter River”

  1. Simple test will tell if it’s a petroleum based sheen or if it’s effluent from decomposing organic material. Drop a pebble in the sheen. Oil sheens will pull back together, effluent will break up

  2. “Now, if you could please tell the Court what testing method you employed to determine, definitively, if the taint in question was indeed, petroleum based?
    “You what? speak up please!”
    “Thank you very much Mr G”

  3. Field screening method would have been a better term than test. If it doesn’t break up, then send a sample to the lab

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