A Tri-Cities native recently asked a question on the Facebook group, You Know You're From the Tri-Cities When.... She says that she grew up with the mindset that the Yakima River is too polluted or dirty or gross to be in! Like for floating or paddleboarding. She asks if anyone knows if this is still true she says she has friends who think she's crazy for saying she doesn't want to be on the Yakima River. So, obviously, her friends think it's okay. She says that paddling on the Columbia on the weekends has just been too crowded. Well, here's what folks are saying. Below are just some of the many answers responding to her question. And if you're not following You Know You're From the Tri-Cities When... it's good information and entertainment!

**Years ago the Yakima was horribly polluted. Thank the Yakama Nation for suing for , and accomplishing cleaning up their heritage fishing waters. They have successfully reintroduced salmon runs on the river. It's clean these days

**Isn't Hanford leaking into it?

**fecal coliform and e. coli are still typically far above recommended levels in the Yakima during irrigation season (it cleans up quite a bit during the winter months) but not as bad as they used to be. However, Benton County Health Dept still recommends against being in the river with open sores/wounds (which I can attest to, after a short hospitalization and 103 degree fever after getting a severe staph infection as a result of wading in the Yakima with a small open wound.

**its cleaner than the Columbia lol.

**I remember in the late .80s it was advised not to eat any fish from the Yakima and it was like the second most polluted river in Washington. There was still raw sewage being dumped up river

**Not crazy at all. I grew up with the Yakima River in my backyard and we didn’t play in it. Now I can’t seem to overcome the mindset even though it’s cleaner looking every year.

**We float from the van giesen bridge to duportail every weekend, and it's a hell of a lot cleaner than it was when I did it as a teen!

**I wouldn't go into it with any open cuts. Full of dung and bacteria.

**All you anti yak people crack me up! You can literally see the bottom up to 6’ deep! You can’t do that on the Columbia! The sides get nasty because people are litter bugs!

 

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