How to: Establish a Beach Site in Swim Guide

Its heating up and the summer months are upon us! As Alabamians go out and hit the beaches and rivers this summer for swimming, paddling, and fishing, it is important that water quality data is easily accessible and up-to-date. In addition to the Alabama Water Watch public data tools, an application called Swim Guide is another useful tool for determining if it is safe to swim.

Your data and observations can help let people know if it is safe to swim this summer! Learn how you can get involved by reading below.

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Meet Our Water Watchers: Carl Woida!

Carl Woida has been a volunteer monitor with Alabama Water Watch for 19 years. When asked to share about his monitoring experience, he wrote a very thoughtful reflection about his time as a volunteer. We are excited to share his story. Read on to learn more about Carl, his monitoring, lessons learned, and why he enjoys being involved with the AWW Program!


My name is Carl Woida and I have been a Volunteer Monitor with AWW since 2001. I have two monitoring sites on the Paint Rock River, a major tributary of the Tennessee River. My monitoring group’s name is the Scott Branch Water Watch. Scott Branch is a small stream feeding the Paint Rock River. I am 75 years old and to date, since my initial certification in 2001, I have been recertified 10 times and have submitted 276 chemistry reports to AWW.

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PAWWesome Co-workers

As the AWW Program Staff settles into the “new normal,” they are also adjusting to working with their new (four-legged) co-workers at home. Since they’ve worked with them about 5 weeks now, we thought we’d ask about their work habits:

It seems they have a slight tendency to sleep on the job…

Sydney’s co-worker, Lila Grace
Carolina’s co-worker, Momo
Carolina’s co-worker, Tiger
Sydney’s co-worker, Jack Baloo
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Meet Our Water Watchers: Janne Debes!

Janne Debes started volunteering with AWW when she was certified as a Bacteriological Monitor in winter 2016. Since then, she has joined several monitoring groups, including Save Our Saugahatchee, Lake Watch of Lake Martin (where she serves on the board), and the USFS Tuskegee National Forest group. She has collected a total of over 320 Water Chemistry and 110 Bacteriological Monitoring data records. It’s easy to see why she has been named the Alabama Water Watch Monitor of the Year two years in a row!

Janne accepts her Monitor of the Year Award for 2018, made by Laura Bell (left of Janne) of Rabbit Fish Ceramics.

Because Janne is so AWWesome, we thought you would enjoy learning a little more about her,  or should we say you would like to Meet Our Wonderful Water Watcher.  

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