Miami Waterkeeper currently conducts weekly bacteria monitoring at 8 locations in Miami-Dade County. This sampling is to supplement the Florida Department of Health (DOH)’s Healthy Beaches program weekly tests.
We collect these samples at the same sites every week and process the results in our laboratory at Ransom Everglades school. Weekly samples are taken on Mondays, and test results are available on Tuesday afternoons. If a site has high bacteria levels, resampling takes place as soon as possible until a sample improves. Results are posted as soon as they are available.
Both MWK and DOH programs test for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) at beach locations. Read more about FIB HERE. These bacteria can be easily cultured, help predict human health risks associated with contaminated waters, and are recommended by the EPA as a proxy for swimming safety.
The EPA has set the following standards for water considered safe for swimming, which are used by DOH and Miami Waterkeeper:
0-70 CFU/MPN per 100 mL enterococci per sample: Safe for swimming
70+ CFU/MPN per 100 mL enterococci per sample: Not safe for swimming
How do I find the latest water quality information? Check out Swim Guide!
The results of Miami Waterkeeper’s water quality monitoring program are posted on our Swim Guide app. On Swim Guide, you can identify at a glance which beaches are safe for swimming (green) and which have current water quality problems (red). Swim Guide offers an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that lets you see a map of beaches in your area and their current water quality status.
Swim Guide has become a popular tool for water lovers in South Florida. In a recent evaluation, 4 out of the top 5 visited sites in Swim Guide, out of over 7,000 Swim Guide sites across the world, were in the Miami area.
Interested in water quality location near you? You can sponsor a testing location and advertise on the Swim Guide app!
When you support the costs of testing an additional site or support already-existing sites, we can recognize you or your organization in the app itself through a banner advertisement that links to your website.
What is a Swim Advisory?
Learn more about our sampling program and process.