Met water quality standards less than 60% of the time
This status is based on the latest sample, take on August 31st, 2023 MountainTrue Watauga Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 1st at 9:51 AM.
321 Access Upper Gorge Park, Watauga River is sampled Weekly from May 24th to September 6th
The Watauga Riverkeeper is a program of MountainTrue and a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Every week from May to September, Watauga Riverkeeper staff, interns, and volunteers monitor water quality at sites across the Watauga, New, and Elk river watersheds. Weekly results are posted on Fridays so you know where it's safe to swim, fish, and paddle on your weekend adventures. Results will be communicated through the Swim Guide mobile app and website, as well as the Watauga Riverkeeper Facebook and Instagram pages. There is currently no water quality standard for E. coli in North Carolina; however, in 2022 NC Department of Health and Human Services provided recommended primary and secondary recreational values for all recreational waters. 126 MPN/100 mL is being used to communicate whether an increased exposure risk may be present for primary recreational activities (swimming/snorkeling) and 886 MPN/100 mL for secondary recreational activities (kayaking, tubing, fishing) in Class B waters. A site will be marked red when the result exceeds the primary recreational value of 126 MPN/100 mL and green when the most recent sample value is 126 MPN/100 mL or below. All recreators should be aware results are preliminary and, while posted as soon as available, represent data that is a day old and should only be used as guidance when assessing exposure risk as bacteria levels can change at any time. The French Broad Riverkeeper utilizes the EPA-approved IDEXX method for collecting and analyzing water samples. Test results are expressed as Most Probable Number (MPN) of E. coli cfu (colony forming units) per 100 ml. The Watauga Riverkeeper utilizes the EPA-approved IDEXX method for collecting and analyzing water samples and compares the results against the EPA standard for health of 126 E.coli cfu/100 ml. Test results are expressed as Most Probable Number (MPN) of E. coli cfu (colony forming units) per 100 ml. A beach is marked Green when single sample results are under 126 E.coli / 100 ML water. A beach is marked Red when the results are equal to or above 126 E.coli / 100 ML water. A beach is marked Grey when there are no current results or there is no available information.
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