Current Water Quality Information
Advisories and Closures: Week of November 28, 2016
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 met safe body contact standards.
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.
Annual Mussel Quarantine Lifted
SACRAMENTO - California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith 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 system poisoning. 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.
CDPH’s shellfish sampling and testing programs issue warnings or quarantines when needed. Local health departments, various state, federal and tribal agencies, community groups and others participate in the monitoring program. Residents and community groups interested in volunteering to assist with the testing program should email RedTide@cdph.ca.gov or call (800) 553-4133.
Updated information about current conditions is available by calling the Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. More information can be found on the Mussel Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page.
Due to the persistent presence of domoic acid in razor clams from beaches in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) closure of the razor clam fishery remains in effect. More information about the razor clam fishery closure can be found on the CDFW Ocean Health Advisories 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 November 30, 2016 by the City of Watsonville did not detect microcystins toxin at the City of Watsonville boat launch ramp at Pinto Lake (detection limit is 1 part per billion [ppb]).
Other samples taken by the County of Santa Cruz on November 18, 2016 showed: 5 ppb at Kelly Lake, 2 ppb at the Villas del Paraiso dock, 5 ppb at the County dock, <1 ppb at Disc Basket #14 and 5 ppb at the kayak haul-out next to the County dock.
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: