Swim Guide is a free app for Smartphones, as well as a website, that informs British Columbians about the water quality of their recreational beaches. In British Columbia, Swim Guide is run by the Fraser Riverkeeper.
Why Swim Guide?
Canadians have strong emotional bonds to their favourite swimming holes, but are largely unaware of the threats to these waters from industrial point-source pollution, municipal sewage discharges that are largely untreated, and CSOs (combined sewage outfalls) that dump stormwater mixed with raw sewage. Awareness of water quality is vital in BC's metropolitan areas, most of which have outdated sewage treatment facilities, and have point-source emissions and CSOs located near popular beaches. The app enables the public to make informed recreational choices and to advocate for both better water monitoring and pollution control at their lakes, rivers & beaches.
What is Swim Guide?
Swim Guide is a free, easy-to-use application (“app”) for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Android provided free to all citizens. It allows users to gain access to important updates on beach closures, swim advisories, and pollution, and learn about, locate and enjoy beaches in their area.
FRK was among the first Waterkeeper organizations to launch the Swim Guide mobile application in 2011. Swim Guide was started by the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and now has dozens of Waterkeeper partners North America-wide.
Swim Guide was created to serve all those who use our water bodies for recreation—swimmers, surfers, families with children, and paddle-sport enthusiasts— while catalyzing awareness and change on water quality and habitat conservation issues.
On the surface, Swim Guide is a beach-location and information app that allows users to learn about, locate and enjoy beaches in their area. But it also accomplishes three other objectives.
- Users gain access to important and regular updates on beach closures, swim advisories, and coliform pollution— critical issues for public health in a metropolitan area with outdated sewage treatment facilities.
- The app enables a form of “open source” water-quality monitoring whereby the public can notify FRK via the smart-phone app—text and/or photos—of any pollution or water quality concerns at BC’s lakes, rivers, and beaches.
- Swim Guide keeps Health Authorities on their toes, as they now have thousands of eyes on the data — or lack thereof—they provide for BC’s beaches.
Join the Swim Drink Fish community and download Swim Guide today!
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