River Monitors Collect Data to Determine if It’s Safe to Swim

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Safe to swim girls
Photo: Vanessa Lambert

SYRCL’s River Monitoring program continues its hard work to monitor 35 sites throughout the Yuba Watershed. As a summer addition, SYRCL has selected five priority sites including Bridgeport, Purdon Crossing, Edwards Crossing, Highway 49 Bridge, and Oregon Creek Swimming Hole to sample on the 2nd Saturday of every month for Safe to Swim parameters. Volunteer River Monitors collect standard water quality data along with special samples which are analyzed at Cranmer laboratory for analysis of total coliform and E. coli bacteria. This information is updated regularly on Waterkeeper Swim Guide app you can download and access from your smart phone.


In years past, SYRCL collaborated with the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) to test for bacteria contamination at popular swimming holes throughout the Yuba watershed as part of a Safe to Swim Study. In 2014, SWRCB finished their report in the South Fork of the Yuba River and the North and Middle Forks, yet SYRCL wants this crucial data to continue flowing for Yuba lovers. EPA Contact Recreation Guidelines indicate E. Coli levels should remain lower than 235 MPN/100mL. There are no EPA guidelines for total coliform levels. Testing will continue through August and if any concerns are found, SYRCL will follow-up with authorities immediately.

Many thanks to the River Monitoring volunteers who have contributed numerous hours throughout the season to collect data on water quality!! Please contact Mo Loden, SYRCL’s River Monitoring Coordinator, if you would like to join this exciting and fun group of citizen scientists.


safe to swim 1
SWRCB’s 2014 Safe-to-Swim Assessment for the South Fork Yuba Watershed
safe to swim 2
SWRCB’s 2014 Safe-to-Swim Assessment for the North/Middle Forks Yuba Watershed


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