Recr8OhioRiver provides water quality information on Ohio River - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Is it safe to swim in the Ohio River? There's an app for that

(FOX19) -

If you've ever wondered whether it's safe to swim in the Ohio River, well now there's an app for that. It's called Recr8OhioRiver, and it helps people determine if the water quality is safe.

According to the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), Hamilton County is among the top five locations in the nation for combined sewage overflow. That runoff often goes into the Ohio River creating issues for the water quality.

MSD says about 90% of the time during dry weather, the Ohio River is safe for recreation. However, what about when we see periods of heavy rain?

"The combination of regular sanitary waste mixed in with storm water, when an overflow occurs, there's an opportunity for the water quality to be impacted," said MSD Director Tony Parrott.

Parrott says there is more than 11 billion gallons of overflow from the sewer system every year. He adds that a combination of a sewer system that's a century and a half old and the geographic layout of the Greater Cincinnati area impacts this trend.

"Based on the amount of rain and the duration of the storm, we can calculate what types of water quality impacts to expect," said Parrott.

So how do you figure out if it's okay to spend a day on the river? Once you select if you're swimming, boating, or doing water sports, the Recr8OhioRiver app uses a color-coded analysis of the water conditions.

"The green means go, low-risk water quality, medium risk water quality in the yellow, red high risk quality," explained Laith Alfaqih with MSD.

Joe Buchanan is the harbour master at Manhattan Harbour, and he says he's been swimming in the Ohio River since he was 6-years-old.

"I've never had an eye infection or any problems period," said Buchanan.

Despite Buchanan's clean record, there are times when the E. coli levels make the water unsafe, and Buchanan believes this app will improve safety and certainly have a positive impact on everyone in the boating community.

"All the boaters, the boat manufacturers, boat sale dealers, and customers will enjoy going to the app because there's great opportunity to share information about what's going on in the Tri-State," said Buchanan.

"Our goal is strictly to improve the environment but also to make sure that we're taking every step to protect public health," Parrott explained.

According to MSD officials, the Ohio River has consistently become cleaner and healthier over the past few decades due to efforts to reduce pollution.

For more information or to download the free app, follow this link: http://www.recr8ohioriver.org/. You can also search "Recr8OhioRiver" in your mobile app store.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:16 AM EST2018-02-25 07:16:08 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 6:00 PM EST2018-02-25 23:00:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    Full Story >

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    Full Story >
  • China paves way for Xi Jinping to extend rule beyond 2 terms

    China paves way for Xi Jinping to extend rule beyond 2 terms

    Sunday, February 25 2018 4:05 AM EST2018-02-25 09:05:47 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 5:59 PM EST2018-02-25 22:59:13 GMT
    Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

    China's official news agency says the ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country's president and vice president.

    Full Story >

    China's official news agency says the ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country's president and vice president.

    Full Story >
  • North Korean envoy, in South, opens door to US talks

    North Korean envoy, in South, opens door to US talks

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:15 PM EST2018-02-25 04:15:38 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 5:59 PM EST2018-02-25 22:59:11 GMT
    (Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP). Kim Yong Chol, center, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, arrives to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at the Korea-transit office near the Demilitarized Zon...(Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP). Kim Yong Chol, center, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, arrives to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at the Korea-transit office near the Demilitarized Zon...
    North Korean delegation led by a controversial former general arrives in South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Full Story >
    North Korean delegation led by a controversial former general arrives in South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Full Story >
Powered by Frankly