Resources for Grand River quality?
I live on the Grand River in the Dimondale area of Eaton County. Try as I might, I cannot find any resources on whether the river is fishable/swimmable in general, as well as whether recent flooding has made it off-limits temporarily. Is there a good resource that posts testing results and interprets those results to make plain-language recommendations about safety?
Eaton County Michigan
I am forwarding your question to several colleagues who live in your area that have expertise in this area.
There are currently no monitoring activities underway on the Grand River near Dimondale. The Eaton Conservation District completed a Watershed Management Plan that was approved by EGLE (formerly DEQ) in 2014. That plan included E. coli monitoring and found elevated bacteria levels in portions of the Middle Grand River (for example the Skinner Drain was identified as one of the priority subwatersheds). The plan can be viewed here:
The Ingham County Health Department does weekly monitoring throughout the recreation season on portions of the Red Cedar and Grand Rivers. Although Eaton County is not included, in general, the data indicate that bacteria is likely to increase after rain events.
In Michigan, there are E. coli water quality standards in place. E. coli should be less than 300 colony forming units per 100 mls of water for full body contact (for example, swimming), and less than 1000 cfu/100 ml for partial body contact (for example, kayaking). We can see from the Ingham County data that we do not always meet those standards: http://hd.ingham.org/Records,DataReporting/EnvironmentalHealthData/WaterQuality/RiverStreamSampling.aspx
Finally, for general information on the Grand River and other watersheds, you might visit: https://www.mywatersheds.org/.