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The RiverCast’s Water Quality Ratings

The RiverCast provides 3 qualitative ratings, and each rating includes recommendations about the river’s suitability for recreational activities. Each rating is based upon predicted levels of bacteria in a section of the Schuylkill River at a given time.
State and federal authorities define different types of recreation based on the possibility and level of contact with the water. The suitability of water quality for recreation depends upon the type of recreational activity and contact with the water.

Direct or Primary Contact Recreation

Direct contact recreation, also called primary contact recreation, includes any activity that is likely to cause immersion in the water. Direct contact activities are most impacted by changes in water quality.

Direct or primary contact recreation includes jet skiing, kayaking, swimming, wading, wakeboarding, and water skiing.

Kayaking
Direct contact activity example: Kayaking

Indirect or Secondary Contact Recreation

Indirect or secondary contact recreation includes activities that are not likely to cause immersion in the water. Secondary contact activities are less impacted by changes in water quality.

Indirect contact recreation includes, but is not limited to, canoeing, fishing, powerboating, and sculling or rowing.

Fishing
Indirect contact activity example: Fishing

RiverCast Water Quality Ratings and Suitable Recreation

RedRiverCast

Higher predicted bacteria levels

Water quality may not be suitable for activities involving direct or indirect contact with water

Contact Activities Recommendation
Direct
(Primary)
Jet skiing
Kayaking
Swimming Activities
Wading
Wakeboarding
Water skiing
Not Suitable
Indirect
(Secondary)
Canoeing
Fishing
Powerboating
Sculling/Rowing
Not suitable

YellowRiverCast

Moderate predicted bacteria levels

Water quality may not be suitable for activities involving direct contact with water

Contact Activities Recommendation
Direct
(Primary)
Jet skiing
Kayaking
Swimming Activities
Wading
Wakeboarding
Water skiing
May not be suitable
Indirect
(Secondary)
Canoeing
Fishing
Powerboating
Sculling/Rowing
Suitable

GreenRiverCast

Lower predicted bacteria levels

Water quality may be suitable for activities involving contact with water

Contact Activities Recommendation
Direct
(Primary)
Jet skiing
Kayaking
Swimming Activities
Wading
Wakeboarding
Water skiing
Suitable
Indirect
(Secondary)
Canoeing
Fishing
Powerboating
Sculling/Rowing
Suitable
Safety Notice

Recreation or activities may also not be suitable due to high flows, poor bottom visibility, or physical drowning dangers associated with these conditions. It is up to the individual to determine safe conditions for recreation based on other criteria, including boating advisories and recommendations by the proper authorities.