Lakes and Rivers Monitoring Information
Are Washington lakes and rivers safe to swim in? Who is checking to make sure?
The risks associated with swimming in natural waters include:
Washington State does not have a statewide program to monitor freshwater swimming beaches for public health. An EPA grant fully funds the BEACH Program. One of the grant requirements is we spend the money on saltwater (marine) beaches.
If individual counties or cities have the resources, they may monitor the water quality of some lakes and rivers. They may test for fecal bacteria and/or harmful algae blooms.
Click on your county to find out who is monitoring your lake or river.
Additional Lakes Information
The Department of Ecology has an Algae Control Program. You can check the on-line database to see if your lake has been monitored and view the latest results.
Ecology was able to monitor lakes statewide from 1989 through 1999 with funding from an EPA grant. This program has been discontinued, but historic lake data is available.
The Department of Ecology provides information about plant identification, plant management, pesticide usage and more on the Aquatic Plants Algae and Lakes page
The Department of Ecology has a program to monitor aquatic invasive non-native plants. The agency provides a searchable database of aquatic plants in lakes and other information about the aquatic weed control research work they do on lakes.
Copyright © Washington State Department of Ecology. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/copyright.html.