When it comes to water quality, there’s no crazier time of year than leading up to the Publix Grandman Triathlon. This year we’ve revised our sampling plan, so we feel even more confident about the quality of the water our swimmers jump into.
In the weeks leading up to Grandman, the Mobile Baykeeper patrol has performed 8 weekly monitoring tests at the Fairhope Pier. We took these samples as composite samples, a mixture of water taken from the finger pier (start of the Grandman swim) and the steps coming out of the Bay by the Fairhope pier (finish of the swim). The composite sample method allows us to have a more accurate representation of the entirety of the swim course.
So far every one of our results has been well below the EPA threshold for swimming advisories!
This is great news for Grandman swimmers and Mobile Bay lovers alike. See below for the results from Baykeeper’s sampling at the Fairhope pier.
The final bacteria sample will be taken on Thursday May 30th and analyzed at Mobile Baykeeper’s lab in Mobile. Results will be available on Friday May 31st (the day before the race) midday. Mobile Baykeeper will make the final call on the swim course based on the results of this sample. If the sample contains less bacteria than the EPA threshold for safe swimming, we’ll greenlight the swim!
Compared to this time last year, water quality results on the Eastern Shore are much better overall! We are seeing fewer sewage spills in the area. The graph to the right shows a significant decrease in the amount of gallons spilled from Daphne Utilities. We have also seen a decrease in spills from Fairhope Utilities, so far this year only 15 gallons have been reported spilled by the utility.
Mobile Baykeeper's primary goal is clean water. We've been working with utilities on both sides of the Bay and these results are partially the fruits of that effort. Bacteria results from ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) and Mobile Baykeeper at Eastern Shore SWIM (Swim Where It’s Monitored) sites have been very low. In 2019, out of 81 samples taken at 7 different sites by both ADEM and Mobile Baykeeper, only 2 (2.4%) have come back high. The average bacteria levels for the Eastern Shore sites are below. They are all well below the EPA threshold of 104 CFU/100mL.
Daphne May Day Park, Mobile Bay - 43 CFU/100mL
Volanta Avenue, Fairhope - 15 CFU/100mL
Fairhope Municipal Park, Mobile Bay - 52 CFU/100mL
Fairhope Pier, Mobile Bay - 10 CFU/100mL
Orange Street Pier, Fairhope - 22 CFU/100mL
Point Clear, Mobile Bay - 21 CFU/100mL
Battles Wharf, Mobile Bay - 28 CFU/100mL
With the Publix Grandman Triathlon quickly approaching and no bad weather in the forecast, we are pretty optimistic! Want to race or volunteer this weekend? Check out our website for more information!