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Swim Guide

Is It Safe To Swim? – Weekly Bacteria Monitoring At Popular Boat Ramps and Swimming Spots

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we collect water samples each Thursday at popular boat ramps and public beaches from Weiss Lake to Allattoona Lake and the beloved rivers in between. E.coli results are posted here each Friday afternoon, just in time for you to make your weekend plans.

Just like a traffic light, Green sites indicate “low” levels of E. coli and are suitable for recreation. Red sites have a “high” level of E. coli and visitors should use extra caution or avoid that site.

2022 Swim Guide is made possible by

and by a grant from the Stringfellow Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, and support from Mohawk Foundation.

Swim Guide FAQ

We aim to provide YOU with important water quality information at popular sites so you can make informed decisions about how you want to enjoy your local waterways.
Our testing is used to show the potential for pathogenic bacteria to be present at a site; however, there are many other dangers associated with freshwater recreation. All waterway users should use caution and obey local, state, and federal laws. In order to reduce risk, open cuts or abrasions should remain covered and cleaned quickly after swimming if they come into direct contact with water. All boaters and paddlers must have PFDs with them and are encouraged to wear them at all times - children under the age of 13 (in GA) and 8 (in AL) are required by law to wear PFDs. Water recreation is strongly discouraged during flood or storm events.
Grey sites do not have current results within the last week. This may mean that we had issues with a sample or that conditions were not safe to collect a sample at that location this week.
A site does not meet water quality standards (turns red) when a presumptive E. coli level has an EPA Beach Action Value higher than 235 MPN/100ml. At this level, EPA estimates that more than 8 out of 1000 swimmers could become ill.
These results only indicate the amount of E. coli in the waterway at the exact moment of sampling (on Thursdays). While these results do not generally change quickly, heavy rain storms between sample time and when the results are posted on Friday will likely result in higher bacteria levels at any given site than the results reported.
USGS collects great data on river stages. You can find more details at the following sites: Georgia or Alabama

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. All sites monitored are natural waterbodies and contaminants are present from a wide variety of sources. Local conditions fluctuate, sometimes dramatically, and especially after rainfall events. The results displayed above are only representative of the exact time, date, and location at which the sample was taken and do not represent the water quality between sampling events or at other locations nearby on the river/lake. Users of this data should not assume that a “low” E. coli level means that it is necessarily safe or risk-free to make contact with the water. E. coli is not the only contaminant of concern for recreational users and is used merely as an indicator of potential fecal contamination. Coosa River Basin Initiative, their employees, and agents can provide no guarantee of water safety and, as such, the user assumes all risks associated with the use of this data and swimming in the upper Coosa River basin. SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK!

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