Understanding the Anacostia’s Water Quality Report Card

During Earth Month AWS released the second annual State of the Anacostia River report card. The river received an overall water quality score of C- based on the parameters we assessed. But what does that really mean?

River Health and Recreation Public Forum

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012
Time: 9am - 11am
Location: First District Police Station, 101 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024

Are you a recreational user of the Anacostia River?
Do you paddle, boat, row, or fish on the Anacostia?

If so, you should plan to attend this open public forum on River Health and Recreation. A panel of public health and environmental experts will make a brief presentation, followed by an open question and answer period. The panel will feature government officials and health experts including:

What Is a Swimmable Anacostia River?

Disclaimer: the ideas presented here are the water quality specialist’s personal view and is not AWS’s view on the definition of a swimmable Anacostia River.


Blue Flag and Robert Boone (the founder of AWS)

When I joined the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) in 2002, I started to be involved in a project called Flagging Project.  In the project I took samples every business day from June through October in 2002 and 2003, measured the water for various parameters including Fecal Coliform Bacteria.  Since it takes about 24 hours to analyze water for fecal bacteria, I forecasted the fecal bacteria testing results based on accumulated data, rainfall precipitation, conductivity, etc.  The forecast was made if the fecal bacteria level will meet a boating standard or not.

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