Before You Go Out on the Watauga: Check the SwimGuide for the Latest Water Quality Reports
Watauga Riverkeeper Monitors Water Quality at Eight Locations; Data Posted to International Website
Swimmers, paddlers and anglers heading out for a day on the river have a new resource for checking water safety, the SwimGuide.org – a website that provides free real-time water quality information for over 7,000 beaches, lakes, rivers and swimming holes in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Bahamas and Australia.
Watauga Riverkeeper and MountainTrue High Country Director Andy Hill runs MountainTrue’s weekly bacteria monitoring program through which volunteers adopt sites and take regular samples.
“The Swim Guide is an amazing resource and our participation is only possible because of our dedicated volunteers,” explains Watauga Riverkeeper and MountainTrue High Country Director Andy Hill. “They’re providing a crucial service to our community, reassuring people and families when it’s safe to get out and swim, fish and paddle.”
Data from our bacteria monitoring program is now loaded up to the SwimGuide.org for the following eight locations:
Guy Ford Road Bridge in Bethel, North Carolina
Price Lake in Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Shook Branch Swimming Area in Hampton, Tennessee
Tester Road AW Access in Butler, Tennessee
Watauga Point Recreation Area, Watauga Lake in Hampton, Tennessee
Watauga RIver 321 Access Upper Gorge Park in Sugar Grove, North Carolina
Watauga River at Valle Crucis Community Park in Banner Elk, North Carolina
Wilbur Dam Put-In, Watauga River at Elizabethton, Tennessee
The monitoring done at sites listed at Swim Guide is to document and alert the public to the elevated e. Coli levels that typically follow heavy rain events. Additionally, MountainTrue also does VWIN (Volunteer Water Information Network) monitoring for chemical parameters and SMIE (Stream Monitoring Information Exchange) monitoring – which documents organisms in the benthic zone to give us a holistic picture of water quality.
Results and historical data are available at swimguide.org. There is also a free smartphone Swim Guide App available for download from Apple App Store and Google Play. A Green status icon means that most recent test results met relevant water quality standards, a red icon means that the most recent tests failed, and a grey icon means that the site hasn’t been tested within the past seven days.
Check the Water Quality of Your Favorite Rivers and Streams
Swim Guide delivers free real-time water quality information for over 7,000 beaches, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, the Bahamas, and Australia.