Weekly tests show high bacteria levels at two Charlottesville locations in the Rivanna River, according to the James River Association, which monitors the James and its tributaries.

The two local Rivanna locations, at Darden Towe Park and at Riverview Park, were tested by Rivanna Conservation Alliance volunteers on Friday. Results show high enough bacterial counts that the association recommends neither swimming nor boating unless on a guided trip.

Association officials said bacteria levels often rise in rivers after heavy rains that cause stormwater runoff from yards and streets.

The association publishes the weekly river tests on its jamesriverwatch.org website. The tests are conducted for temperature, water cloudiness and E. coli bacteria.

Association officials say river health can be improved with simple steps to minimize stormwater pollution, including building rain gardens and planting trees and native plants at home. More information can be found at the website's watershed-restoration tab.

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