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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 July 28, 2014 

All of Cowell Beach, from the cliffs to the west of the Dream Inn to 25 meters east of the  wharf on Main Beach has elevated bacteria levels, exceeding safe body contact limits.  

Advisory signs have been placed at Cowell Beach entry points and the affected area of Main Beach. The area will continue to be monitored and postings remain in effect until bacteria levels recede to within safe body contact standards.  

New Brighton Beach  has elevated bacteria levels which exceed safe body contact standards.  The area has been posted with advisory signs at beach entry points.  This beach will continue to be monitored and postings remain in effect until bacteria levels recede to safe body contact levels. 

 It is believed that large populations of seabirds feeding on anchovies close to the shore in these areas has contributed to the increase in bacteria.

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

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria)  is currently blooming  at  Kelly and Pinto Lakes. 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.

Samples taken at Pinto, Drew and Kelly lakes on July 17, 2014 showed no microcystins toxin present. (detection limit is 0.5 parts per billion [ppb])

Mussel Quarantine Re-issued

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in a press release dated April 4, 2014, is warning consumers not to eat recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, clams or whole scallops) from Monterey or Santa Cruz counties due to dangerous levels of a naturally occurring toxin that can cause illness or death.

 

Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in mussels from these counties. This toxin can cause a condition known as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), which can cause illness or death in humans. (No cases of human poisoning from domoic acid are known to have occurred in California.)

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 Steve Peters at (831) 454-5010 or email at env032@co.santa-cruz.ca.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: 

 

 

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