The BacteriALERT Program was initiated within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) in 2000 as a public-private partnership between state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations. Today the partnership is led by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Cobb County and the city of Atlanta provide additional funding support for this popular and highly successful monitoring program.
The main objective of this project is to collect and analyze water samples for total coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Results are posted on a publicly accessible website within 24 hours of data collection. This website provides river users with current predictions of E. coli bacteria concentrations within the CRNRA. Predicting bacteria concentrations in "real time" requires using other indicators, in this case, turbidity, that have a correlation to bacteria CRK staff and interns take regular water samples at Paces Ferry Bridge near Vinings, and the NPS takes regular samples at Medlock Bridge near Norcross.
The CRNRA, a 48-mile river park between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek, contains about three-fourths of all public green space in the 10-county metro Atlanta area. The recreation area attracts more than 3 million visitors with nearly 30 percent of those participating in water-based recreation.
For more information, see USGS web site