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Old 21-08-2016, 20:43   #16
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Unfortunately, the cost of perfect homeowner association approved green grass is the use of chemicals and fertilizer. When it rains, this washes into the ICW and creates algae which turns it a disgusting green. Add irresponsible development like homes and condos on the waterfront and everything that was meant to filter and protect is gone. Not your problem? This filthy water has given rise to flesh eating bacteria.

When we came back from the Tortugas to Ft. Myers, the water looked like toilet water. But the lawns looked great from the ICW. It's so sad.

It's not just the water that's shallow in Florida.
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Old 21-08-2016, 21:24   #17
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

A lot of people confusing murky with polluted.

A lot of people don't like to swim in murky water but that doesn't mean the water is polluted.
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Old 22-08-2016, 02:38   #18
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

you guys are a bunch of willy nillies.

most rivers, lakes, etc, are not clear, most are borwn. has nothing to do with bacteria, etc... tannins, silt etc are what make it brown.

I live in morehead city nc and we swim in the canals, ICW etc all the time. have ever since i was a kid and never heard of one single issue....

the wife and I swam in the icw near beaufort yesterday... naked.... lol..

you guys really need to lighten up and live a little.

water will be fine.....
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Old 22-08-2016, 04:01   #19
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Come on in boys, the water is fine:

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Old 22-08-2016, 07:45   #20
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Anywhere except the channel!


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Old 22-08-2016, 08:25   #21
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Swimming is always a dicey proposition. In a lot of places you're voluntarily entering the food chain and you're NOT the top predator there...
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Old 22-08-2016, 08:51   #22
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

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Swim undeterred.



I'm with Mark. If I got paranoid about the places I have swam, I would have PTSD.
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Old 22-08-2016, 08:54   #23
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Just don't forget to drop your boarding ladder before you dive in. Ask me how I know this.
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Old 22-08-2016, 08:58   #24
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

We swim in the ICW and St. Johns all the time in N. Florida. Great anchor spots just a bit south of the Butler Boulevard bridge, and another in the St. Johns, just west of the ICW (south bank of river - look for the sandy beach).
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Old 22-08-2016, 09:45   #25
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Several have already stated that murky or brown is not polluted. Those that steep tea leaves in water are doing the same as the common event of river water running through vegetation. Actually, the tannic acid in tea or brown river water make it less likely to harbor harmful microbes than clear water.
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Old 22-08-2016, 10:55   #26
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

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Swimming is always a dicey proposition. In a lot of places you're voluntarily entering the food chain and you're NOT the top predator there...
I agree, tannin stained silty water is not polluted. It is just not clear. The more you fish, the more you beware the food chain though.

Best to live a little-
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Old 22-08-2016, 11:59   #27
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

I've swum lots of places from Sandy Hook to Biscayne Bay. If the water looks nice, it probably is. If the water is florescent green, maybe swim somewhere else.
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Old 22-08-2016, 13:01   #28
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Yes Tannins are just from all the leaves and vegetation. Also on Gators. We swim all the time with them. We are simply not in their food chain. Though I have to say that even if I know this fact I do think about it.

I try to be aware of the area as far as the pollution. Much of the ICW is very low population in the Carolinas Ga and North and Central FL. Those areas don't concern me much. But I would think again in S Florida.

Also on the brain eating organisms........those are present in backwaters that don't circulate. Rivers, ICW, even lakes aren't a problem.
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Old 22-08-2016, 14:02   #29
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

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I've swum lots of places from Sandy Hook to Biscayne Bay. If the water looks nice, it probably is. If the water is florescent green, maybe swim somewhere else.
It might be chemical pollution. I believe chemical pollution would worry me more than organic pollution. Mark is in NYC I wouldn't recommend New Town creek. We have had a kid die from the brain eating ameba from swimming in the Edisto river probably 1 in several million chance. The OP was wondering about the IC, SC to FL. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 23-08-2016, 07:21   #30
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

One more voice to say pollution is frequently not detectable by eye. If the water has a chemical smell or an oil slick I would stay out. If close to a major city, the same. Dark, tannin colored water is frequently found in the South and is no more dangerous than tea. Overall a good rule to follow is- when in doubt, stay out!
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