Tool Helps Communities Protect Recreational Waters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has released an improved web-based app to help communities identify potential sources of pollution to recreational waters. This science-based and data-informed tool empowers communities and supports engagement in local decisions in protecting the health of swimmers and recreators from contaminants at lakes, rivers, and beaches, while supporting the vitality of water-based economies.

The USEPA’s new Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Fresh Waters is designed to help protect swimmers and other recreators while improving management decisions that can help keep recreational waters open for use. USEPA recognizes the role of community participation in supporting robust water quality datasets. This tool can help citizen scientists provide data on sources of pollution in a watershed and information that public health officials need to protect a community from potential harmful algal blooms in surface waters. These efforts can also ultimately promote safe public access to urban waterways and lead to aquatic ecosystem restoration.

While previous versions of the app focused on marine waters, this improved version has been expanded to include monitoring for fresh waters. Additionally, it has new functions including photo storage, geolocation data, and links to weather-related websites. The web-based app does not require the use of the Internet or WiFi.

Detailed instructions on how to access the app, as well as user manuals and training videos, are posted on the website. For more information, visit: