Your Favorite River Spots Are Safe to Swim!

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Great news!!  Results from samples collected by local citizen scientists this summer during the State of California’s “Safe to Swim” study show that levels of bacteria at the Yuba’s popular swimming holes meet federal guidelines for recreational contact with water.

This summer, SYRCL selected eight priority sites throughout the North, Middle, and South forks of the Yuba.  River Monitors collected standard water quality parameters along with special water samples on the third Thursdays of June, July, and August at locations listed below (see graph: click on image for larger view).  Samples were sent to a state lab for analysis of total coliform and E-coli bacteria. Results show that all samples collected were well below the EPA guidelines for recreational contact with water, set at 235 MPN fecal coliforms per 100 milliliters of water (MPN/100 mL).

Please note that these results are not reflective of heavy recreational use at swimming holes during summer weekends.  Although levels meet guidelines for recreational contact, all should avoid swallowing water.  2014 Bacteria Results

E.coli is a bacteria that is found in the intestines of all mammals, and so makes a useful measurement for indicating the presence of fecal contamination in water.  Common sources of such pollution are untreated sewer discharges, failing septic systems, pets and wildlife, storm water, ill swimmers, and improperly disposed boat wastes.  We all can help prevent this pollution of our rivers and streams by picking up after your pets at the river, avoiding swimming when ill with diarrhea, and maintaining septic tanks regularly.  

We would like to thank River Monitors for visiting popular swimming holes to collect this information and the State Water Resources Control Board for their partnership in this program.  Many thanks to all River Ambassadors who continue to educate Yuba visitors about the importance of picking up after their pets at the river to keep the river clean for all!

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