EPA launches new app to track conditions of U.S. waterways

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WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 18, 2012 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a new app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the U.S. from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. Available here, the How's My Waterway app and website uses GPS technology or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies. The release of the app and website helps mark the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which Congress enacted on Oct. 18, 1972, giving citizens a special role in caring for the nation's water resources. Forty years later, the EPA is providing citizens with a technology-based tool to expand that stewardship.

"America's lakes, streams and rivers are national treasures. Communities and neighborhoods across the U.S. want to know that their local lakes, rivers and streams are healthy and safe to enjoy with their families," said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "This new app provides easy, user-friendly access to the health of a waterway, whether it is safe for swimming and fishing, and what is being done about any reported problems. People can get this information whether researching at a desktop or standing streamside looking at a smart phone."

How It Works

* SEARCH: Go to http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway and allow GPS-technology to identify the nearest streams, rivers or lakes or enter a zip code or city name.

* RESULTS: Instantly receive a list of waterways within five miles of the search location. Each waterway is identified as unpolluted, polluted or unas­sessed. A map option offers the user a view of the search area with the results color-coded by assessment status.

* DISCOVER: Once a specific lake, river or stream is selected, the How's My Waterway app and website provides information on the type of pollution reported for that waterway and what has been done by EPA and the states to reduce it. Additional reports and technical information is available for many waterways. Read simple descriptions of each type of water pollutant, including pollutant type, likely sources and potential health risks.

* MORE: Related links page connects users to popular water information on beaches, drinking water and fish and wildlife habitat based on a user's search criteria.

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