A new smartphone program is helping to keep families around Kansas City safe from possible bacteria in streams.
The free application, called KCWaterBug, provides users with different color codes that provide real-time estimates of bacteria concentrations in local streams. This information is monitored by in-stream equipment and satellite technology installed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff in 2011, according to a press release from the agency.
The application provides color codes for 12 streams in the Kansas City area known for recreational activities.
EPA and local partners plan to expand the water-quality monitoring by adding more equipment to various streams in the near future. The data is also being used by researchers to help develop pollutant reduction plans for streams.
Photo: Brush Creek in Kansas City. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.