Current Water Quality Information
Advisories and Closures: Week of February 20, 2017
Rainfall runoff from storm drains, creeks or rivers may contain high levels of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. These areas should be avoided for at least three days following significant rainfall.
This week, beaches that exceeded the safe body contact standard were Natural Bridges State Beach, Cowell Beach at the wharf, Main Beach at the San Lorenzo River, Corcoran Lagoon Beach, and Capitola Beach west of the jetty. Elevated bacteria levels at these sites are likely due to recent rainfall and should be avoided until further notice.
HE 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 Lifted
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer has lifted the annual quarantine on mussels gathered by sport harvesters along the California coast. Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have not been detected in recent mussel samples along the coast. PSP is a form of nervous systempoisoning. 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, which typically runs May 1 through October 31, is intended to protect the public from shellfish poisoning caused by marine biotoxins. There have been no reports of shellfish-related poisonings in California during this quarantine period.
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 February 22, 2017, by the City of Watsonville, detected no microcystins toxin at the City of Watsonville boat launch area at Pinto Lake (detection limit is 1 part per billion [ppb]).
A sample of Kelly Lake was taken on January 12, 2017 and detected no microcystin (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 e-mail distribution list.", in the subject line.
Other websites for further information: