Current Water Quality Information
Advisories and Closures: Week of November 23, 2015
Please be advised that areas subject to rainfall runoff from storm drains, creeks and rivers may contain high levels of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. These areas should be avoided for at least three days after significant rain has stopped.
Cowell Beach, at the Monterey Street stairs, had elevated Enterococcus levels.
Main Beach, in front of the Cocoanut Grove, had elevated E. coli levels.
All other 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
Schwan 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.
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. For more information visit the California Department of Public Health here.
A blue-green algae bloom is underway at Pinto Lake. People and pets should avoid direct contact with or drinking Pinto Lake water. Water color is NOT an indication of safe water.
The most recent sample results, taken November 25, 2015, show microcystins toxin detected at 4 parts per billion (ppb). (Detection limit is 0.5 parts per billion [ug/L].)
Mussel Quarantine No Longer In Effect
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is updating its warning to consumers regarding certain seafood caught along the California coastline that may contain high levels of domoic acid. Advisories continue to be in place for:
- Consumers to avoid eating recreationally and commercially caught Dungeness and Rock crabs caught in waters between the Oregon border and the southern Santa Barbara County line, due to the persistent dangerous levels of domoic acid in these species.
- Consumers to avoid eating recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (mussels and clams) from Humboldt or Del Norte counties. The white meat (adductor muscle) of scallops caught in these areas may be consumed; however, the viscera (internal organs) should be discarded.
However, an advisory is no longer in place for bivalve shellfish like mussels and clams or for small finfish like anchovies and sardines caught in the Santa Cruz, Monterey, or Santa Barbara County areas. Recent testing has determined that domoic acid has declined and remained at undetectable levels in samples of these species from these areas.
CDPH is continuing to work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which recently issued emergency regulations closing the recreational and commercial Rock crab fishery and delaying the start of the recreational and commercial Dungeness crab fishery between the Oregon border and the Ventura / Santa Barbara County Line due to dangerous levels of domoic acid found in crabs caught from these areas.
More information may be found at this link:
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 Dave 'pH' Steinbruner at (831) 454-2739 or email at email@example.com.
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 e-mail distribution list.", in the subject line.
Other websites for further information: