With A Few Precautions, It's Safe For You To Use The Arkansas River

May 30, 2013

The confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas rivers, taken in 2007.
Credit djmcaleese / flickr Creative Commons

With the annual Wichita River Festival approaching, the city says the Arkansas River is suitable for recreational use.

However, there are some advisory conditions you should follow:

  • Avoid swallowing river water
  • Wash hands before eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Wash arms and hands after getting out of the river
  • People with open wounds should avoid contact with river water

During the festival, the city officials will display colored flags at the Douglas and Lewis Street bridges to inform festivalgoers about river water quality and flow based on daily testing. 

  • Blue: signifies the river is fine for recreational activities.
  • Green: signifies the river is still suitable for use, but subject to advisory conditions.
  • Orange: signifies the river is not for public use due to an extraordinary event, like high river flows and velocities.

If you're on the water, the city urges you to wear life preservers, follow safe boating practices and avoid alcohol.

You can also find the river advisory information at wichita.gov.