Swim Guide


Mobile Baykeeper Swim Guide Sites

Swim Guide is an app for Apple and Android devices that allows visitors to Alabama’s beaches to know at a glance which areas are safe for swimming (Green) and which are unsafe (Red) in real time using water quality testing results from Alabama’s state agencies. The sites are updated weekly throghout the summer. 

Swim Guide 101

What do the colors mean? 

During Swim Season (When sites are tested regularly)

Sites are updated weekly May - Sept.

  • Green = Safe for swimming. This means the beach's most recent test results met water quality standards. 
  • Red = Unsafe for swimming. Recent test results indicate higher bacteria levels than what is considered safe for swimming. 
  • Grey = Information is unavailable or the site has not been tested in more than 7 days so data is considered unreliable. 

Off-Peak Swim Season (Shows historical status of each site)

Sites are updated monthly Oct. - Apr. after 7 days the site shows a "historical" status as described below.

  • Green = the site has passed water quality tests 95% of the time or more. 
  • Yellow = Beach has passed water quality tests 60-95% of the time
  • Red = the site has failed water quality tests 40% or more of the time. 

How does it work?

Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) & Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) collect water samples from 23 high use swimming areas in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Water samples are analyzed for the bacteria Enterococci, which often occurs in the presence of potential human pathogens (things that make you sick!). If testing shows high levels of bacteria, the site is re-tested the following day. When elevated bacteria levels remain, ADPH issues a public health advisory and closes the beach for swimming. Mobile Baykeeper posts these results to Swim Guide, giving easy-to-identify results in real time.

Download The App

What If I don't have a Smart Phone?

Program Coordinator Laura Jackson tests bacteria levels of a local creek. 

No problem! For those without a “smart phone” to download the app, the information is also accessible by visiting the Swim Guide website at www.theSwimGuide.org or through the display above.  

Did You Know? 

Funding for the program that allows ADEM and ADPH to test beaches to see if they are safe to swim is proposed to be zeroed out in the 2018 federal budget. Let your elected officials know that the Beach testing program is important to you!


Are you ready to support our work to make sure you're informed when it's safe to swim?

Special Thanks to both Legacy Partners in Environmental Education and Daniel Foundation of Alabama for funding Mobile Baykeeper's work on Swim Guide and supporting our work for clean water, clean air, and healthy communities. 
More questions? Contact Program Coordinator Laura Jackson at ljackson@mobilebaykeeper.org to learn more about this program.