AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - July 25-27 is International Swimmable Water Weekend, and Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatubus wanted all of the CSRA to know that.
She posted a video to her Facebook page Friday challenging people to get out into the water this weekend, and this included in the Savannah River.
A report released by Environment Georgia in June ranked the Savannah River third in the nation for the highest amount of total toxic discharge. But Bonitatibus says this report could be a good thing.
"The Savannah River has been that way for a long time unfortunately. But I think it really highlights the need, and the fact that it is required by the Clean Water Act that it be fishable, drinkable, and swimmable. So if we're in areas on the Savannah River that don't meet those criteria, it's time that we actually meet them," she says.
This report hasn't kept people from getting out and enjoying the river.
Tim Nixon and his family live on the Savannah River, and he says his son is out wakeboarding and enjoying the river as much as he can. He read the report about the toxin levels, but feels it's nothing to worry about.
"I think if it was that bad they'd be shutting it down," he says.
Melvin Weathersbee and his family were out jet skiing on the river today, and he agrees with Nixon.
"You think about it, and you read about it, but you just kind of have to evaluate it," Weathersbee says.
For Nixon, living on the Savannah River is a way to unwind, and he wouldn't change a thing.
"It's therapy for me. I have a stressful job so I love to come home in the evenings and just sit back, and just look down and see the boats going up and down the river, everybody having a good time. It's just therapy," Nixon says.
Even as Swimmable Water Weekend comes to a close, Bonitatubus still encourages people to get out and enjoy the river.
"Go out, engage, have fun. Get in the boat if you want to, jump in real quick and jump back out. But there is nothing quiet like a cool dip in a river," she says with a smile.
Bonitatibus is encouraging everyone who was out on the water this weekend to share their photos and videos. To show your Swimmable Water Weekend moments, upload them to Facebook and use #swimmablewater and tag the Savannah Riverkeeper @savriverkeeper and @waterkeeper.