Anacostia River - Washington Channel


The Washington Channel provides recreational water access to East Potomac Park, Gangplank Marina, and The Wharf.

The Anacostia River is designated as a Class A waterway, which means primary contact, however the DC Department of Health (DOH) bans swimming in the Anacostia due to sewage overflows. The risk of high bacteria levels after a heavy rain storm is the only reason it is considered “unsafe” to swim in the river. The activation of the Clean Rivers Project on the Anacostia River is expected to prevent 80% of sewer overflow volume, getting us significantly closer to a swimmable river 365 days a year.

WATER QUALITY
  • Meets water quality standards
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Anacostia Riverkeeper, Inc. updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
MONITORING FREQUENCY

is sampled bi-weekly from 20 April to 1 October

SOURCE INFORMATION

Anacostia Riverkeeper staff, interns, and volunteers test water quality at several access points along the river. We also partner with Gallaudet University and Anne Arundel Community College to collect and test water samples.

Testing occurs bimonthly at 4 sites along the Anacostia River: Bladensburg Waterfront Park, between the North end of Kingman Island/Langston Golf Course and Kenilworth Park very near the National Arboretum, the South end of Kingman Island near RFK Stadium just North of CSX Bridge, and at the Yards Park Marina Education Dock.

The Anacostia River is a tidal freshwater river.

Water is tested for E. coli, a fecal coliform. E. coli is measured In tems of the Most Probable Number /100 ml water, and are indicators of fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals including birds and mammals. The bacteria that fall into this group are not themselves, typically infectious, but their presence is strongly correlated with the presence of other bacteria that can cause both gastrointestinal and skin infections. The high limit for water that is regularly used for swimming is 126 MPN/ 100 ml. In addition, the District and county agencies recommend not swimming in the water for 48 hours after a rain event of 0.5 inches or more, especially for those that are immunosuppressed and those with open wounds.

Water samples are taken every two weeks April through October and rrsults are posted the following day on our website, on SwimGuide, and results are distributed weekly to a mailing list of interested groups and individuals. Anacostia Riverkeeper reports results to the DC Department of Energy and Environment. Anyone may request to be added to our distribution email list.

Samples recording less than 126 MPN E. coli /100ml are therefore considered "green", having met water quality standards. Samples over the standard are considered "red" due to their failure to meet criteria, and the increased risk of illness.

The Anacostia River is designated as a Class A waterway, which means primary contact, however the DC Department of Health (DOH) bans swimming in the Anacostia due to sewage overflows. The risk of high bacteria levels after a heavy rain storm is the only reason it is considered “unsafe” to swim in the river. The activation of the Clean Rivers Project on the Anacostia River is expected to prevent 80% of sewer overflow volume, getting us significantly closer to a swimmable river 365 days a year.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Anacostia River - Washington Channel


WATER QUALITY
  • Meets water quality standards
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Anacostia Riverkeeper, Inc. updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   

The Washington Channel provides recreational water access to East Potomac Park, Gangplank Marina, and The Wharf.

The Anacostia River is designated as a Class A waterway, which means primary contact, however the DC Department of Health (DOH) bans swimming in the Anacostia due to sewage overflows. The risk of high bacteria levels after a heavy rain storm is the only reason it is considered “unsafe” to swim in the river. The activation of the Clean Rivers Project on the Anacostia River is expected to prevent 80% of sewer overflow volume, getting us significantly closer to a swimmable river 365 days a year.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

is sampled bi-weekly from 20 April to 1 October

SOURCE INFORMATION

Anacostia Riverkeeper staff, interns, and volunteers test water quality at several access points along the river. We also partner with Gallaudet University and Anne Arundel Community College to collect and test water samples.

Testing occurs bimonthly at 4 sites along the Anacostia River: Bladensburg Waterfront Park, between the North end of Kingman Island/Langston Golf Course and Kenilworth Park very near the National Arboretum, the South end of Kingman Island near RFK Stadium just North of CSX Bridge, and at the Yards Park Marina Education Dock.

The Anacostia River is a tidal freshwater river.

Water is tested for E. coli, a fecal coliform. E. coli is measured In tems of the Most Probable Number /100 ml water, and are indicators of fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals including birds and mammals. The bacteria that fall into this group are not themselves, typically infectious, but their presence is strongly correlated with the presence of other bacteria that can cause both gastrointestinal and skin infections. The high limit for water that is regularly used for swimming is 126 MPN/ 100 ml. In addition, the District and county agencies recommend not swimming in the water for 48 hours after a rain event of 0.5 inches or more, especially for those that are immunosuppressed and those with open wounds.

Water samples are taken every two weeks April through October and rrsults are posted the following day on our website, on SwimGuide, and results are distributed weekly to a mailing list of interested groups and individuals. Anacostia Riverkeeper reports results to the DC Department of Energy and Environment. Anyone may request to be added to our distribution email list.

Samples recording less than 126 MPN E. coli /100ml are therefore considered "green", having met water quality standards. Samples over the standard are considered "red" due to their failure to meet criteria, and the increased risk of illness.

The Anacostia River is designated as a Class A waterway, which means primary contact, however the DC Department of Health (DOH) bans swimming in the Anacostia due to sewage overflows. The risk of high bacteria levels after a heavy rain storm is the only reason it is considered “unsafe” to swim in the river. The activation of the Clean Rivers Project on the Anacostia River is expected to prevent 80% of sewer overflow volume, getting us significantly closer to a swimmable river 365 days a year.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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