SWIM GUIDE

Swim. Where. It's. Monitored. 

12 popular swimming holes on the Buffalo River, Kings River, and Crooked Creek from Memorial Day through Labor Day

E. coli, pH, & temperature

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our data every Friday before noon. Text "SWIMWRW" to 84483 to get FREE alerts sent to your phone.

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Only want text alerts for select watersheds?

Text the Keyword below to 84483 for select alerts.

Keyword       =    Alerts for

SWIMBUFF   =   Buffalo River

SWIMKING   =   Kings River

CROOKED    =   Crooked Creek

Check out the Swim Guide website, brought to you by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, to see the interactive and intuitive reporting platform. 

www.theswimguide.org

12 popular swimming holes on the Buffalo River, Kings River, and Crooked Creek from Memorial Day through Labor Day

LOW RISK

At less than 126 col/100mL, water is meeting Arkansas's state water quality standards and risk is low for contracting an illness.

MODERATE RISK

E. coli >126 col/100mL are above the Arkansas Department of Heath's Swim Beach closure level. 

HIGH RISK

At 235 col/100mL, we turn a site's status to red describing it as "high E. coli." This is EPA's recommended Beach Action Value based on studies indicating 36 in 1,000 recreational users will contract some sort of illness. Illnesses can include swimmers ear, vomiting, diarrhea, or infection. 

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. All sites monitored are natural waterbodies and contaminants are present from a wide variety of sources! Local conditions fluctuate, sometimes dramatically, and especially after rainfall events. The results displayed above are only representative of the exact time, date and location at which the sample was taken and do not represent the water quality between sampling events or at other locations nearby on the river. Users of this data should not assume that a “low” E. coli level means that it is necessarily safe or risk-free to make contact with the water. E. coli is not the only contaminant of concern for recreational users, and is used merely as an indicator of fecal contamination and likelihood of illness. White River Waterkeeper, Inc., their employees, and agents can provide no guarantee of water safety and, as such, the user assumes all risks associated with the use of this data and swimming in the White River Basin. SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT'S THE GOAL?


The goal of this project is to provide YOU with information about water quality conditions at popular swimming locations. Before this project, there was hardly any water quality data at these swimmin' holes, and virtually none of it was easily accessible to the public. Now it is!




HOW LONG ARE THE RESULTS GOOD FOR?


Our results only represent a small bottle full of water just below the surface at one instant in time in a large river that is constantly changing. River conditions fluctuate on daily and seasonal cycles. They change dramatically during rain events or pollution events. Generally you will observe that through the hot, dry spells of summer, the results don’t really change a whole lot week to week. However, if it rains after we collect a sample, river conditions will certainly change. Typically they change for the worse, and the extent to which they worsen depends on a lot of factors particular to each site (some sites worsen dramatically, other sites only worsen a small amount). Unfortunately, we only have the resources to monitor each of these sites one day a week. We cannot guarantee that water quality conditions are similar to our posted results beyond the date, time and location at which our samples were collected. You can help us collect more samples by donating to White River Waterkeeper! This project is made available to the general public only because of our dues-paying members. Thank them by joining them!




HOW CAN I HELP?


You can help by supporting our work financially. You can also really help by spreading the word! Share this page on Facebook or other social media with your friends and fellow river rats. Are you a business, nonprofit, or individual that wants to sponsor complete testing of a site throughout the summer? Awesome! Contact Jessie Green, our Waterkeeper & Executive Director, to find out about publicity and sampling benefits by emailing jessie@whiteriverwaterkeeper.org.




HOW DO I LOWER MY RISK OF GETTING SICK?


Most importantly, don’t swim in a stream contaminated with fecal matter. If you have open cuts or scrapes or nasty bug bites, you should be extra mindful of making contact with river water. Additionally, because bacteria levels are higher after a rain event, you should exercise more caution for several days after a big rain. Remember, if it has rained since we took our last sample, odds are bacteria levels are now higher than the posted results.




DOESN'T THE STATE DO THIS TYPE OF TESTING?


Not really. Neither the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality nor the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) conduct this type of water quality monitoring program. While this type of testing is performed by AHD a few times throughout the summer at popular swim beaches on lakes, only a handful of swimming holes on rivers are monitored, and none of them overlap with ours. However, the public has no way of knowing the last time any of these swim beaches were monitored or what the results were like. ADEQ and Buffalo National River (National Park Service) collect some E. coli data, but none of these are made available to the public as soon as results are available (and sometimes never at all unless you submit a Freedom of Information Act request). In fact, ADEQ still hasn't posted any E. coli data collected prior to March 2018 on their website (as of May 2019). We think that’s a shame, so we’re spending our Thursdays in the summer testing your favorite swimmin’ holes to let you know how they are!





We rely on our members to champion causes on their behalf. Our members and their love of our water, fish, and wildlife gives us the ability to work to protect them in a number of ways, from signing petitions to bringing polluters to justice in court.

 

 

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Contact:

info@whiteriverwaterkeeper.org

P.O. Box 744, Harrison, AR 72602

White River Waterkeeper is an Arkansas-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that advocates for the White River, its watershed, and its communities.