Current Water Quality Information
Advisories and Closures: Week of June 19, 2017
Samples taken June 22, 2017, show that Cowell Beach from the wharf to Lifeguard Tower 1 has elevated E. coli levels. Entry points to Cowell beach have been posted with advisory signs. This beach will continue to be monitored and postings remain in effect until bacteria levels decline to within safe body contact limits.
Main beach at the San Lorenzo River has somewhat elevated E. coli levels, but below the instantaneous posting limit.
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
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 May 19th, 2017 by the County, detected no microcystin toxin at the County fishing dock and Villas del Paraiso dock at Pinto Lake. In addition, Kelly Lake was tested and no microcystin was detected. Samples taken by the City of Watsonville at the city boat launch on June 21, 2017 detected no microcystin toxin (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: