James River Watch

While the James River is a great place to cool off, it can carry extra pollutants during periods of high water and after heavy summer downpours. Some segments of the river are impaired due to excessive harmful bacteria—which can make an afternoon on the river less enjoyable. James River Watch is designed to measure bacteria levels and communicate them to the public, so you can have a better time on the water!


How is the river in your area?

At the James River Association, we believe a healthy River should be enjoyed by all, and we strive to connect Virginians to our shared James River. But river conditions can change quickly. One of the most common questions we receive is whether the river is safe to swim. To help answer that question, we worked with partners to develop the James River Watch, a water quality monitoring program that communicates river conditions to individuals across the James River basin. So whether you’re swimming, paddling, or boating – get outside, enjoy the James, and know before you go!

 We have a team of volunteers that take weekly water samples and report their findings to the James River Watch. Every Friday, from Memorial Day to Labor day, check the James River Watch for water conditions in your area.


Passing Rate


Volunteers Engaged


Bacteria Samples


Our Partners

A healthy James River requires caring citizens and communities. Whether it’s getting your hands dirty, raising your voice, or supporting our cause, there is a job for everyone in making a cleaner, James. We offer opportunities to get active and stay informed.


You can hike it, bike it, swim it, run it or raft it. How you enjoy the James River is up to you.