Swim Guide is an application for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Android (2.1 or higher) that allows visitors of Alabama’s beaches to find their closest beach and know at a glance which ones are safe for swimming (Green) and which are unsafe (Red) in real time using water quality testing results from Alabama’s state agencies.
Mobile Baykeeper Swim Guide Sites
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, in cooperation with Alabama Department of Public Health, collects water samples from 23 high use or potentially high-risk public recreational sites in Mobile and Baldwin counties as part of the Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring Program. Water samples are analyzed for the indicator bacteria Enterococci, which often occur in the presence of potential human pathogens. If testing shows high levels of bacteria, the site is immediately retested. When elevated bacteria levels remain, a public health advisory is issued. This data is posted on the ADEM website, but the data is not easily accessible by the public. Mobile Baykeeper posts these results to Swim Guide, giving easy-to-identify results in real time.
Each beach is coded based on its current status or its historical status. Current status tells whether a beach is open or posted (beaches are “posted” when there are concerns about water quality) right now. The current status is based on daily data entries. Historical status tells you whether a beach is usually open or posted, based on historical information on water quality. If a beach is not in season, or if it is not being sampled reliably, Swim Guide will display Historical status instead of Current status.
Mobile Baykeeper is providing this free tool to help inform the community about waterway health and to help people safely explore, enjoy and learn about Alabama’s beaches. For those without a “smart phone” to download the service, the information is also accessible by visiting the Swim Guide website at www.theSwimGuide.org or through the widget above.
Funded by Legacy's Gulf Coast Environmental Recovery Fund.