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AirNow Logo superimposed over a photograph of scattered pinkish clouds drifting over the river in the evening.
Air quality can be a big concern in the park during the hot summer days.

Air Quality

Learn the current Air Quality Index (AQI) at the park and the forecast for tomorrow from the AirNow website. The site gives details about the pollutants found and provides health warnings. Subscribe to EnviroFlash and after you choose the type and frequency of service you want, EnviroFlash will be sent to your email or cell phone as specified. Or get the free AIRNow iPhone or Android App so you can check at any time!

Just a sample of the garbage found floating in the river that makes visitors wonder about the quality of the water in the Chattahoochee.
Floating trash makes visitors wonder about the river's water quality.


Water Quality

The river has a reputation for less than healthy water quality. Although the water quality of the river has improved it still has its bad days. Take a quick look and you can understand why. When visitors see trash floating down the river and piling up behind a log jam they become concerned about the beauty lost. But when their nose catches some of the aromas along the river they really become concerned. Just what's in the water that can't seen? Visit the BacteriAlert website to find out how safe is it to swim, wade, and boat in the Chattahoochee River today.

A view of flood waters flowing over the spillways at Morgan Falls Dam. Gates for all spillways are open.
Morgan Falls Dam releasing water during the Fall Flood of 2009, one of the worst floods on record for the river.

USGS/Alan Cressler

Water Release Schedules

The river level of the Chattahoochee is influenced on a daily basis by water released from Buford Dam and Morgan Falls Dam. Once you know the release time visit our Downstream Flow Rate page to calculate when you can expect the river level to rise at your location.

Buford Dam
Call 770-945-1466, or toll free at 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569), for the Buford Dam water release schedule. Or visit their Hydropower Generating Schedule website for release times and amounts for the current day.

Morgan Falls Dam
Visit the Georgia Power's Lake Levels website for the Morgan Falls Dam tentative water release schedule. Besides showing the time for scheduled releases it also shows how many turbines will be operating and the current flow in cubic feet per second (cfs).

River water floods entrance fee station and wooded picnic area.
The Chattahoochee River hit record levels during the autumn flood of 2009.



The water level in the river can be influenced by not only water releases from the dams but also precipitation in the watershed. Get the river forecast for Georgia from the National Weather Service. Zoom in on the map and select points (Norcross, Roswell, and Vinings) along the river for current river conditions, historical information, and descriptions for different flood stages.

A lone walker on a park trail in the midst of a snow storm.
While snow storms are rare in the park it still pays to check the weather forecast.

NPS/VIP Tom Wilson


Checking the weather forecast should be on everyone's checklist before heading down the river. While electrical storms should be tops on your list, check for tornado and flash flood warnings. If you should see lightening or hear thunder get off the river to a safe place. Wait 30 minutes after the last crack of thunder before continuing your float. Have an action plan for inclement weather and act on it before it's too late! Get the current weather conditions for the park from the National Weather Service.

Last updated: July 3, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1978 Island Ford Parkway
Sandy Springs, GA 30350


(678) 538-1200

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