Waterkeepers® Bahamas Goal for Swim Guide
The goal is to provide YOU with information of clean water for waterbodies in and around three islands of the Bahamas including, Bimini, Grand Bahama and New Providence to ensure that water bodies are swimmable, fishable and drinkable water for future generations.
Waterkeepers Bahamas is a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, the world’s fastest growing environmental movement that unites more than 300 Waterkeeper members and affiliates around the world, all working together to focus citizen action on issues affecting waterways – from pollution to climate change.
Our Water Sampling Process
The water sampling process for the various islands on which we conduct our water testing, includes quality control samples, and other procedures before, during and after sample collection to ensure that the collection process was done with room for error.
Is It Safe To Swim?
We are testing for Enterococcus bacteria it is considered a “fecal indicator bacteria” that has been found to be associated commonly with wastewater. It can be easily cultured and help predict human health risks associated with contaminated waters, and therefore is often used as a proxy for swimming safety.
The following are caution signs that we use to adhere to for swimming:
How Long Are The Results Good For?
Our results only represent a small bottle full of water just below the surface at one instant in time in a large river that is constantly changing.
Water conditions fluctuate on daily and seasonal cycles. They change dramatically during rain events or pollution events.
Generally you will observe that through the hot, dry spells of summer, the results don’t really change a whole lot week to week. However, if it rains after we collect a sample, water conditions will certainly change. Typically they change for the worse, and the extent to which they worsen depends on a lot of factors particular to each site (some sites worsen dramatically, other sites only worsen a small amount).
Unfortunately we only have the resources to monitor each of these sites bi-weekly. We cannot guarantee that water quality conditions are similar to our posted results beyond the date, time and location at which our samples were collected. You can help us collect more samples by donating to Waterkeepers Bahamas!
How Do I Lower My Risk of Contracting An Illness In The Water?
The best advice we can give you is to take caution or avoid swimming in any body water contaminated with bacteria. If you have cuts or scrapes or nasty bug bites, you should definitely avoid swimming in water containing bacteria because this can lead to illnesses such as; gastroenteritis (also known as an infectious diarrhea) or even a fever.
Additionally, because bacteria levels are higher after a rain event, you should exercise more caution for several days after a big rain. Remember, if it has rained since we took our last sample, odds are bacteria levels are now higher than the posted results.
How Can I Help You?
We are always excited to receive help in any way possible. Here are just some ways you can help
- You can VOLUNTEER – get trained by us to begin collecting samples for us.
- You can help by supporting our work financially
- You can also really help by spreading the word!
- You can share this page on Facebook or other social media with your family members and friends.
How do I find the latest water quality information?
The results of our sampling efforts will be posted on our Swim Guide app.
Swim Guide will also let you:
- Discover a wide variety of beaches and other swimming location
- Get walking, driving, or transit directions to the beach of your choice
- Bookmark beaches for easy access
- Share your love for the best swimming holes on social media
- Help protect your waterway by reporting pollution or environmental concerns