ROSWELL, Ga. -- Swimming and tubing are popular Memorial Day weekend activities, but families may not want to do it in the Chattahoochee River ifE. Colilevels don't drop.
The Chattahoochee riverkeeper says 235 is a safe, acceptable level reading for E. Coli. On Monday, that number is believed to have soared above 6,000.
"Which is probably 20 to 30 times higher than the recommended level of bacteria," Executive Director Sally Bethea said.
The levels, like the water, have already started to drop and Bethea says if the sunny, warm weather holds, the water should be fine by the weekend.
But if the rains kick back up on Wednesday and Thursday, "take a walk beside it, but I wouldn't get in it," said Bethea.
The Riverkeeperteams up with the National Park Service and USGS to provide real time estimates on bacteria levels in the river. Equipment in the water gives daily estimates, while water samples twice a week confirm the reports.
If you're trying to make your holiday plans, you can click here to check current levels.
St. Andrew's rowing club came rushing down to the river on Sunday to get their boats to higher ground. The water by mid-afternoon was already several feet high.
On Monday, the program director thought it would be a busted dock that would keep the team out of the water. Instead, it was the bacteria in the water.
The team still worked out on land, grateful they could even see it. They spent the afternoon moving equipment back to the boathouse, once the water had receded.
But with a national rowing championship the first weekend in June, teams didn't want to lose a day of training.