By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
Recent numbers by the Coosa River Basin Initiative show the Etowah River is more than safe for swimming and water activities.
The CRBI is continuing their weekly testing of the river’s E.coli bacteria levels, and this Thursday’s data show numbers far below what the EPA considers safe for recreational waters.
According to Director Joe Cook, this will likely be the case each week, as the Etowah is generally healthy enough for water activities. The only time the river sees a spike in bacteria levels is after a torrential rainfall.
“This weekend it should be pretty healthy for everyone, but when we do have heavy rain events---that’s when we have to watch the bacteria levels,” Cook says. “Because when we do have heavy rain, more pollution gets washed into the river and those bacteria levels spike. When we have periods where we don’t have rain, generally the Etowah is running pretty clean.”
The environmental non-profit collects samples from three different spots along the Etowah. They will continue to release these weekly reports on the bacteria levels in the river until September.