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Where Can You Find Clean Water This Summer?

Rogue Riverkeeper Starts Water Testing of Local Rivers and Reservoirs to Inform the Public

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For Immediate Release - June 8, 2015

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Forrest English, Rogue Riverkeeper, 541-261-2030

 

Where Can You Find Clean Water This Summer?

Rogue Riverkeeper Starts Water Testing of Local Rivers and Reservoirs to Inform the Public

With another summer drought approaching and warnings already issued for Bear and Neil Creeks, how can swimmers, boaters and other water lovers find up to date information about water quality? Southern Oregon’s Rogue Riverkeeper can help with that.

Starting this week, and with the help of volunteers, Rogue Riverkeeper will begin weekly testing of local waters for bacteria and other water quality pollution through October. The up to date results will be available online at rogueriverkeeper.org. The public can also download a free smart phone app and access an interactive website called the Waterkeeper Swim Guide at the Rogue Riverkeeper site. 

“Clean water is important to all of us, it’s why we live near the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois Rivers,” said Forrest English with Rogue Riverkeeper. “Using the Swim Guide locals and visitors alike can quickly find a swimming spot and see if recent results meet the standards for safe swimming.”

Rogue Riverkeeper collects samples weekly from June through October at Emigrant Lake, Lost Creek Lake, the Rogue River at Gold Hill and Grants Pass, the Illinois River outside of Selma and the Applegate River at Cantrall Buckley Park. Information is also included from the City of Ashland along Ashland Creek as it flows through Lithia Park and notices from Oregon Health Authority when appropriate.

“We’ve tried to include a variety of popular water recreation areas, and will be adding more sites based on volunteer interest. If we’re missing a spot, we’d love it if folks want to help us add it,” continued English.

With less water expected in our rivers and streams due to a second year of drought and a severe lack of snowpack in the mountains, water pollution may be a bigger issue this year than most. In addition to answering immediate questions regarding public safety during the summer, the data collected by monitoring efforts are provided to state and federal agencies and used to guide decisions that affect the management of the watershed.

In addition to local water safety information, the Waterkeeper Swim Guide utilizes standardized methods from government authorities and non-profits to determine water quality at over 2,500 sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The information is updated as frequently as the water quality information is gathered by partner organizations.

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