Swim Guide

WE SAMPLE

28 popular swimming holes on the Coosa from May til Labor Day.

WE ANALYZE

E. coli, pH, turbidity, temperature & dissolved oxygen.

WE SHARE

Our data for free every Friday before noon. Text "SwimGuide" to 844-83 to get alerts sent to your phone.

GET THE SKINNY BEFORE YOU DIP

This Week's Results

Our rating system is based on Alabama’s water quality standards for E. colibacteria. (An illness rate of 36 in 1,000 recreational users is the basis for Alabama’s water quality standards).

LOW RISK


At less than 126 col/100mL, water is meeting Alabama's state water quality standards and risk is low for contracting an illness.

MODERATE RISK.

Starting at 126 colonies of E. coli per 100 mL of water, approximately 36 in 1,000 recreational users will contract some sort of illness. Illnesses can include swimmers ear, nausea & infection.​

HIGH RISK.

At 235 col/100mL, we turn a site’s status to red and describe it as having “high E. coli.”When more than 10% of individual samples exceed that level, that waterbody is likewise considered impaired.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

The goal of this project is to provide YOU with information about water quality conditions at popular recreation sites on the river. The most common question we get from our members is “Is it safe to swim?” Before this project, there was hardly any water quality data at these swimmin’ holes on the Coosa. Now there is!

Our results only represent a small bottle full of water just below the surface at one instant in time in a large river that is constantly changing. River conditions fluctuate on daily and seasonal cycles. They change dramatically during rain events or pollution events. Generally you will observe that through the hot, dry spells of summer, the results don’t really change a whole lot week to week. However, if it rains after we collect a sample, river conditions will certainly change. Typically they change for the worse, and the extent to which they worsen depends on a lot of factors particular to each site (some sites worsen dramatically, other sites only worsen a small amount). Unfortunately we only have the resources to monitor each of these sites one day a week. We cannot guarantee that water quality conditions are similar to our posted results beyond the date, time and location at which our samples were collected. You can help us collect more samples by donating to Coosa Riverkeeper! This project is made available to the general public only because of our dues-paying members. Thank them by joining them!

You can help by supporting our work financially. You can also really help by spreading the word! Share this page on Facebook or other social media with your friends and fellow river rats.

Most importantly, don’t swim in a stream contaminated with fecal matter. If you have open cuts or scrapes or nasty bug bites, you should be extra mindful of making contact with river water. Additionally, because bacteria levels are higher after a rain event, you should exercise more caution for several days after a big rain. Remember, if it has rained since we took our last sample, odds are bacteria levels are now higher than the posted results.

No. Neither the Alabama Department of Environmental Management nor the Alabama Department of Public Health conduct this type of water quality monitoring program. While this type of testing is performed by the State on our coastal beaches in the Gulf, it is not performed on inland freshwater lakes and streams. We think that’s a shame, so we’re spending our Thursdays in the summer testing your favorite swimmin’ holes to let you know how they are!

$10 covers the cost of ONE bacteria sample.

MAKE A SPLASH & JOIN SWIM CLUB TODAY!