I’m really thrilled to announce the launch of our water quality testing program in D.C. waters!
Potomac Riverkeeper is partnering with Anacostia Riverkeeper, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Audubon Naturalist Society, Rock Creek Conservancy and DC’s Department of Energy and the Environment (which provided the grant), to begin regular weekly testing for bacteria in DC’s waters including the Potomac, Rock Creek and the Anacostia.
This project is part of Potomac Riverkeeper’s goal to promote safe recreation in DC’s waters. As many of you know from our work with Alexandria’s stormwater and sewage management issue, heavy rains like we have seen this past summer can cause overflows of contaminating sewage into our creeks, streams and rivers, and thus water recreators can be exposed to E. Coli bacteria. We want you to know when that happens, so beginning in the spring of 2019, we will report results weekly to the public via Swim Guide with the information we gather – so make sure you download the Swim Guide APP!
Potomac Riverkeeper’s long-term goal is to make the Potomac River and its tributaries fishable, drinkable, and swimmable. Right now, many folks don’t know that there is a ban on swimming in the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. So, until it is safe to swim in the Potomac please follow safe water practices – such as wash your hands after coming in contact with river water, avoid swallowing river water, disinfect open cuts after coming in contact with river water – and continue to advocate for clean water – which means letting your District of Columbia representatives know that you want and deserve clean, swimmable waterways.
Today is the first day of this water testing program that will commence full time next spring and last through fall of 2019. We’ll be calling for volunteers to sign up for training in January, and to help with water sample collection spring through fall 2019. We hope we can count on you to help us achieve a day when our waters are fishable, drinkable, and swimmable!