Swim Guide app helps you avoid diving into poopy waters
Thinking about going for a swim? You’ll want to know that the beach you’re heading to isn’t a shitty mess.
Luckily, there’s a free iPhone and Android app that lists the water-quality status of beaches in Vancouver and across North America. Swim Guide, created by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper with help from Fraser Riverkeeper and other water-advocacy groups, checks for your location and loads up a list of the nearest beaches and swimming holes. The beaches are each assigned a status of green (clean), yellow (could be problems), red (unsafe), or grey (information unavailable).
In Vancouver today (June 11), it’s safe to swim at Kitsilano, Jericho, Spanish Banks, Sunset, English Bay, Second, Third, and other green beaches. But you might want to skip that dip at Trout Lake, False Creek, or Richmond’s McDonald Beach, which are all assigned a status of red. Swimming by Burnaby’s Chevron refinery is also not advised (duh).
If you come across pollution on a beach, you can use the app to report it. Version 2 of the Swim Guide allows users to submit a photo and description of the concern for forwarding to local authorities.
Fraser Riverkeeper hopes the app will help residents to act as stewards of local beaches and encourage authorities to begin testing the water quality at beaches that remain unmonitored.