Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program: Readiness Review

Today Charleston Waterkeeper officially kicked off a Readiness Review for our Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program. The program will regularly sample local tidal creeks and other areas frequently used for activities like swimming, stand up paddleboarding, sailing, and kayaking. Once operational the program will publish data every thursday so you can compare the results to South Carolina’s standards for safe swimming. In other words, we’re determining the “swimability” of our local waterways.


As part of our Readiness Review, over the next several weeks we’ll be sampling every Wednesday morning. The samples will be analyzed at the College of Charleston’s Hydrochemistry Research Laboratory. The Readiness Review allows our program staff, field investigators, and laboratory analysts to practice with the the quality control and quality assurance protocols we’ve implemented to ensure the program produces high quality data. Check out the pictures from today’s sample run over at Facebook.

The data produced during the Readiness Review is for our informational purposes only and it is not reliable enough to publish. Please stay turned to our website and Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you do, we promise you won’t miss it when we start publishing data.

Astute readers of our blog will recall that last fall we conducted a Pilot Study. Check out a few sample runs here, here, here, and here.  The Pilot Study helped us determine how to wisely allocate our time and resources to efficiently conduct the Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program. During the winter and spring we focused our attention on developing a Quality Assurance Project Plan and a laboratory Quality Assurance Manual. Now that those documents are complete we’ve turned to the Readiness Review. The final step is launching the full program.

Charleston Waterkeeper is proud of the progress we’ve made and we are looking forward to providing you with high quality data about the “swimability” of many of our communities’ favorite local waterways. We could not do this work without the support of the College of Charleston’s Masters of Environmental Studies Program and the support of all of you. A big thank you from all of us here at Charleston Waterkeeper.

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