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"Get Ready, Get Set, Swim! Or Not."

PHOTO: Riverkeepers in Virginia and around the world are testing the waters for Swimmable Water Weekend, a global event to raise awareness of water quality and the impact of pollution. Photo credit: theswimguide.org
PHOTO: Riverkeepers in Virginia and around the world are testing the waters for Swimmable Water Weekend, a global event to raise awareness of water quality and the impact of pollution. Photo credit: theswimguide.org
July 26, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. – Can you swim in your local river or creek?

Is there a safe beach? And if not, why not?

Those are the questions riverkeepers want you to be asking as part of Swimmable Water Weekend this weekend.

Peter Nichols, executive director of the environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance, says it's a global event organized by stewards of the waterways, who are working to ensure everyone can jump in.

"It's the middle of summer," he says. "It's swimming season and it's designed to get people out enjoying their waterways and celebrating their right to access to clean and swimmable water."

Riverkeepers in Virginia are testing the waters daily for bacteria levels and pollution, and you can access the results on the Waterkeeper Alliance website TheSwimGuide.org to see where it's safe to swim.

Nichols says if there isn't water quality information available about your local swimming spot, it's important to ask why.

"It's another way for people to be informed,” he says, “and to take action if, for example, there is not any data at the beach that you're desiring to go to. People can go to their municipality and ask why are they not monitoring those areas."


Alison Burns/Scott Herron, Public News Service - VA