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Current Water Quality Information

Click Here to View an Interactive Map of the Latest Water Quality Results

 Advisories and Closures: Week of October 16, 2017

All beaches tested this week met safe body contact standards.

THE FOLLOWING AREAS ARE PERMANENTLY POSTED BY THE COUNTY DUE TO ROUTINELY HIGH BACTERIA LEVELS:

 Aptos Creek at Rio del Mar Beach

Porter Gulch Creek at New Brighton Beach

Soquel Creek mouth at Capitola Beach

Schwann Lagoon at Twin Lakes Beach

San Lorenzo River mouth

Neary Lagoon at Cowell Beach 

 THESE WATER BODIES AND ADJACENT AREAS GENERALLY CONTAIN BACTERIA LEVELS ABOVE SAFE BODY CONTACT STANDARDS AND ARE CONSIDERED UNSAFE FOR BODY CONTACT.

  Mussel Quarantine in Effect

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer have enacted the annual quarantine on mussels gathered by sport harvesters along the California coast. The quarantine is declared due to the possibility of Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). PSP is a form of nervous system poisoning caused by consuming shellfish which have bio-accumulated toxins from various microscopic ocean flora. Concentrated levels of the toxins can develop in mussels and other bivalve shellfish when they feed on certain naturally occurring marine plankton. 

The annual quarantine on sport-harvested mussels, typically runs May 1 through October 31 and is intended to protect the public from shellfish poisoning caused by marine biotoxins. 

The most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines is available by calling CDPH’s toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page.

 

  PINTO & KELLY LAKES ADVISORY

Pinto and Kelly Lakes are subject to blooms of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Cyanobacters such as microcystis are known to produce toxins, exposure to which can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation, allergic reactions, gastrointestinal upset, and other effects. At high levels, exposure can result in serious illness or death. Exposure may occur by ingestion, dermal contact  or inhalation. Avoid body contact with blue-green algal blooms. This includes swimming, wading and water-skiing. Also do not allow your pets to enter the water.  For more information visit the California Department of Public Health here.

The most recent sample results, taken October 19th, 2017 by the County of Santa Cruz, detected microcystin toxin at Villas del Paraiso dock at 5 parts per billion (ppb). Samples taken at the County fishing dock did not detect microcystin toxin (detection limit is 1 part per billion [ppb]), however some visible microcystis colonies have started to form.  Kelly Lake was also tested on October 19th, 2017.  Microcystin toxin was detected at a concentraion of 5 ppb. Humans and pets are advised to avoid body contact at areas with any detectable concentration.

Samples taken by the City of Watsonville on October 11, 2017 detected no microcystin toxin at the City boat launch dock. (Detection limit is 1 part per billion [ppb]).

The County of Santa Cruz Environmental Health Service provides water quality information to concerned swimmers to alert them to areas that may be contaminated by fecal indicator bacteria. You may listen to the latest water quality updates by dialing (831) 454-3188 and listening to the menu to find information about fresh water lagoons and ocean beaches. Click here for Recreational Water Quality Monitoring information.

For clarification of methods and interpretation of results please contact John Ricker at (831) 454-2750 or email at John.Ricker@santacruzcounty.us.

If you believe you may have been exposed to illness through water contact, please fill out an Illness Report.

To be added to or removed from the e-mail distribution list for current water quality data reports, e-mail Env.Hlth@santacruzcounty.us with the words: "Please add me to the water quality e-mail distribution list.", in the subject line.

Other websites for further information:

Central Coast Ocean Observing System