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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 January 9, 2017

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 following significant rainfall.

All beaches tested this week exceeded body contact standards. Beaches near creeks, rivers and outfalls should be considered unhealthful with the recent heavy rains. Avoid body contact.

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 Announced

CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish from Monterey County 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops from Monterey County. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from this region. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death in humans. Cooking does not destroy the toxin. 

This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.

PSP toxins affect the central nervous system, producing a tingling around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours after eating toxic shellfish. These symptoms are typically followed by loss of balance, lack of muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In severe poisonings, complete muscular paralysis and death from asphyxiation can occur. There have been no reports of illnesses related to this event. 

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 04 January, 2017, by the City of Watsonville, detected  no microcystins toxin at the City of Watsonville boat launch ramp at Pinto Lake (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:

Central Coast Ocean Observing System