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Citizen Water Patrol

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune

Rogue Riverkeeper volunteers will collect samples from local water bodies to test bacteria levels and post the information online.

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A small army of citizen-scientists will help Rogue Valley residents learn whether the creek or swimming hole they hit this summer is a good place to cool off or might be a staph infection in the making.
 
The Rogue Riverkeeper organization is amassing a group of volunteers to regularly collect water samples from area creeks, lakes and rivers this spring and summer for tests to determine whether these popular swimming and wading waters have unhealthful levels of bacteria.
 
The information will be posted online at www.rogueriverkeeper.org and accessible via a free smartphone app called "Waterkeeper Swim Guide" so anyone can get up-to-date information on the quality of the water in which they intend to swim or wade.
 
"There's a lot of agreement among people that water-contact safety is a good thing," says Frances Oyung, Rogue Riverkeeper's volunteer and water-quality monitoring coordinator. "This makes for a real handy tool for people to access this information, and it can become a regular part of their lives."
 
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