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California Beach Water Quality Report (2009)

California Beach Water Quality Report (2009)

Ratings: (0)|Views: 17|Likes:
Published by Sabrina Brennan
California has more than 400 beaches stretching along more than 500 miles of Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay coastline.

Top 10 Most Polluted Beaches in San Mateo County

San Mateo County 2009 Beachwater Contamination Results are the second worst in the state. Los Angeles County is the only County in California with more beach closing/advisory days than San Mateo County.

San Mateo County Closing or Advisory Days:

Aquatic Park (117 days)
Pillar Point (100 days)
Lakeshore Park (98 days)
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (59 days)
Oyster Point Marina (53 days)
Pacifica State Beach (39 days)
Venice State Beach (28 days)
Dunes State Beach (23 days)
Kiteboard Beach (15 days)
Francis State Beach and Gazos Creek Access (both 13 days)
California has more than 400 beaches stretching along more than 500 miles of Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay coastline.

Top 10 Most Polluted Beaches in San Mateo County

San Mateo County 2009 Beachwater Contamination Results are the second worst in the state. Los Angeles County is the only County in California with more beach closing/advisory days than San Mateo County.

San Mateo County Closing or Advisory Days:

Aquatic Park (117 days)
Pillar Point (100 days)
Lakeshore Park (98 days)
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (59 days)
Oyster Point Marina (53 days)
Pacifica State Beach (39 days)
Venice State Beach (28 days)
Dunes State Beach (23 days)
Kiteboard Beach (15 days)
Francis State Beach and Gazos Creek Access (both 13 days)

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Published by: Sabrina Brennan on Sep 07, 2010
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09/07/2010

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CA.1
Natural Resources Defense Council
Testg the Wates 2010
CAliforniA
20th  Beachwate Quaty
8% of samples exceeded national standards in 2009
*
Dtest Beachwate
(% of samples exceeding state standards in 2009)
• Avalon Beach-North of GP Pier in Los Angeles County (82%)
 
• Pudding Creek Beach-Pudding Lagoon in Mendocino County (65%)
 
• Poche County Beach in Orange County (63%)
California has more than 400 beaches stretching along more than 500 miles of Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay coastline. The California Department of Health Services administers the BEACH Act grant.
Mtg
Sampg Pactces:
Beachwater quality monitoring in California occurs from at least April 1 to October 31, withmost beaches in Southern California and in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties monitored year-round.Individual counties determine sampling locations, while sampling depth and minimum sampling frequency aredetermined by state law. Most counties sample at more locationsand often more frequently than required by state law.
1
Samples aretaken in ankle-deep water. Monitoring locations in California areselected based on the number of visitors, the location of stormdrains, NPDES effluent discharge requirements, and legislativerequirements. Monitored beaches represent the vast majority of beach day use in California. All beaches along the San FranciscoBay are monitored per legislation. Funding cuts resulted inreduced water quality monitoring in some areas of the state in2009. For example, Ventura County did not begin monitoringuntil June of 2009, and locations dropped to 40 from 53 becauseof funding cuts.Samples are usually collected in the most likely areas of possiblecontamination. In Los Angeles County, for example, sampling points are located where creeks or storm drains enter thesurf zone, which are usually permanently posted as being under advisory. Most other counties may permanently postoutfalls and sample 25 yards up or down the coast from the outfall to predict further impacts to beach bathing areas.
1
 Shortly after an advisory is issued, immediate resampling occurs in order to lift that advisory as soon as possible. Whenthere is a closing, samples must meet standards for two days before the beach can be reopened. States that monitor morefrequently after an exceedance is found tend to have higher percent exceedance rates and lower total closing/advisory daysthan they would if their sampling schedule were not altered after an exceedance was found.
resuts:
In 2009, California reported 452 coastal beaches, 10 (2%) of which were monitored daily, 14 (3%) morethan once a week, 281 (62%) once a week, 12 (3%) once a month, and 129 (28%) less than once a month; 2 (<1%) were not monitored, and there was no monitoring information for 4 (1%) beaches. In 2008, the state reported426 coastal beaches, 3 (1%) of which were monitored daily, 27 (6%) more than once a week, 247 (58%) once a week,1 (<1%) every other week, 12 (3%) once a month, and 4 (1%) less than once a month; 125 (29%) of the beaches werenot monitored, for 7 (2%) beaches there was no monitoring information. Overall, there were 24% (6,405) fewer samplesreported for 2009 than for 2008, ranging from a decrease of more than 60% in Santa Barbara and Ventura Countiesto a 26% increase in Sonoma County.
2009200820072006
12%8%10%9%
Caa Pecet Exceedace 234 Beaches repted 2006–2009
*
Why don’t the 2009 percent exceedances match? See
in Chapter 4 of this report for an explanation.
 
CA.2
Natural Resources Defense Council
Testg the Wates 2010
Tta Mtg Sampes Pe Cuty, 2008 vs. 2009
Cuty2009 TtaSampes2008 TtaSampesDeecePecet Deece
Alameda31132211-3%
Contra Costa
142135
7
5%
Humboldt
223221
2
1%Los Angeles3,7466,0592,313-38%Marin710832-122-15%Mendocino165156
9
6%Monterey
277
2761
0%
Orange6,6798,8772,198-25%San Diego3,4113,387241%San Francisco
929
919101%San Luis Obispo1,0961,044525%San Mateo847964117-12%Santa Barbara335854519-61%Santa Cruz629
908279
-31%Sonoma3062426426%
Ventura
6221,637-1,015-62%
Tta20,42826,833-6,405-24%
For the fifth consecutive year, NRDC looked at the percent of monitoring samples that exceeded the state’s daily maximum bacterial standards (all reported samples were used to calculate the 2009 percent exceedance values, includingduplicate samples and samples taken outside the official beach season, if any). NRDC considered a sample on a given day at a given beach station to be in exeedance if any one of California’s bacterial standards was exceeded. If all bacterialstandards were exceeded on a given day at a given station, NRDC counted that as one exceedance. For example, if asample exceeded the enterococcus,
E. coli,
and total coliform standards on a given day, NRDC counted that as oneexceedance, not three (note that when determining California’s national beachwater quality ranking, NRDC analyzedresults based on the single-sample maximum BEACH Act standard of 104 cfu/100 ml enterococcus).In 2009, 9% of all reported beach monitoring samples exceeded the state’s daily maximum bacterial standards. Thebeaches with the highest percent exceedance rates in 2009 were Avalon Beach-North of GP Pier in Los Angeles County (82%), Pudding Creek Beach-Pudding Lagoon in Mendocino County (65%), Poche County Beach in Orange County (63%), Avalon Beach-Near Busy B Cafe (52%), Santa Monica State Beach-Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles County (46%), Candlestick Point-Windsurfer Circle in San Francisco County (46%), Cabrillo Beach (45%), Surfrider Beach(45%), Avalon Beach-South of GP Pier in Los Angeles County (44%), and Newport Bay-Newport Blvd. Bridge inOrange County (43%).San Francisco County had the highest exceedance rate (17%) in 2009, followed by Los Angeles (16%), Mendocino(14%), Santa Cruz (11%), Humboldt (11%), San Mateo (10%), Contra Costa (10%), Orange (8%), Santa Barbara (8%), Alameda (8%), San Diego (6%), Monterey (5%), San Luis Obispo (5%), Ventura (5%), Marin (4%), and Sonoma (4%).Comparing percent exceedance rates with those of previous years, NRDC includes only those beaches monitoredand reported each year between 2006 and 2009. For this consistent set of 234 beaches, the percent of samples exceedingthe standard decreased to 9% in 2009 from 10% in 2008, 8% in 2007, and 12% in 2006.
Csgs ad Advses
Stadads ad Pcedues:
Local health agencies are responsible for issuing beachwater quality warnings.
2
There arefour types of beachwater quality warnings: postings, rain advisories, permanent postings, and closings. Postings are issued when a water sample fails to meet bacterial standards. Rain advisories, on the other hand, are preemptive warnings to
 
CA.3
Natural Resources Defense Council
Testg the Wates 2010
prevent people from swimming in ocean waters during a rain event and for three days after rainfall ceases; permanentpostings are issued at sites where historic data show that the beachwater generally contains elevated bacteria levels.
2
Beachclosings are generally issued after sewage spills or other serious health hazards.However, although it is rare, local health officials do sometimes decide to closea beach when more than one standard is exceeded or when exceedances are farin excess of the standards.
1
This is rare, however, and closings are generally issued only when it is suspected that sewage is impacting a beach.For total coliform, the single-sample standard is 1,000 cfu/100 ml if theratio of fecal/total coliform bacteria exceeds 0.1. Otherwise, the single-samplestandard for total coliform is 10,000 cfu/100 ml. The total coliform standardfor the geometric mean of at least five weekly samples collected during a30-day period is 1,000 cfu/100 ml. For fecal coliform, the single-samplestandard is 400 cfu/100 ml and the standard for the geometric mean of at leastfive weekly samples collected during a 30-day period is 200 cfu/100 ml. Insome jurisdictions,
E. coli 
is used as a surrogate for fecal coliform; in this case,the standard is the same as for fecal coliform. For enterococcus, the single-sample standard is 104 cfu/100 ml and the standard for the geometric mean of at least five weekly samples collected during a 30-day period is 35 cfu/100 ml. Almost all counties monitor for all threeorganisms (total coliform, fecal coliform, and enterococcus), and an exceedance of the single-sample standard of any oneof these three indicators triggers an advisory. Geometric mean standards are sometimes used to keep a beach posted afterthe single-sample maximum has been exceeded but are rarely used by themselves to trigger a posting.
1
 Advisories are posted without resampling when a single-sample exceedance occurs. There is no protocol for delayingor forgoing an advisory when a single-sample exceedance occurs.Since 2003, San Diego County has used a predictive model to trigger beach closings at three south county beachesnear the outlet of the Tijuana River. These beaches are Imperial Beach, Coronado Beach, and Silver Strand State Beach.The model assesses the need for closures based on real-time information about ocean currents in addition to otherparameters. Use of the model allows the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health to make more accurateand timely notifications to protect the health of beachgoers.
3
In addition to advisories triggered by indicator exceedances, three-day preemptive rain advisories are automatically issuedfor all beaches in five counties (Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, San Diego, and Santa Cruz) when rainfall exceeds pre-determined levels, regardless of whether bacterial monitoring samples have been collected and analyzed. Los Angeles County advises swimmers that to stay safe when swimming in the ocean, ocean water should be avoided for 72 hours after a rain-storm.
4
These general advisories affect all beaches in the county. As a general rule, the Recreational Health Program issuesa rain advisory when there is 0.1 inch or more of rainfall at the University of Southern California rain gauge; however, itsdecision can vary depending on how long it has been since the last rainfall, how sporadic the rainfall is, and where it isfalling, since, according to the agency, much of the watershed that feeds storm drain flow is in the hills and mountains, whichhave rainfall different from those levels at the rain gauge. Orange County issues preemptive countywide rain advisories, warning of elevated bacteria levels in the ocean for a period of at least 72 hours after rain events of 0.2 inch or more.San Diego County issues preemptive rain advisories for a period of up to 72 hours after a rain event of 0.2 inch or more.Preemptive advisories are also issued for reasons other than rain, such as excessive debris on the beach. Finally,preemptive closings are issued when there is a known sewage spill or when sewage is suspected of impacting a beach.Closings are issued immediately upon notification by the agency responsible for the spill.
numbe  Csgs ad Advses:
Total closing/advisory days for 714 events lasting six consecutive weeks or lessdecreased 30% to 2,904 days in 2009 from 4,133 days in 2008, 4,736 days in 2007, 4,644 days in 2006, and5,199 days in 2005. Furthermore, there was a dramatic difference between northern California counties and SouthernCalifornia counties. Closing/advisory days
increased 
dramatically in northern California counties and
decreased 
 dramatically in Southern California, where several counties reduced monitoring frequency due to budget cuts.
 
Heavy first flush rain events in October of 2009 influenced northern California beaches.
5
In addition, on October 30, 2009,a tank vessel spilled an estimated 400 to 800 gallons of bunker fuel into the San Francisco Bay. The spill reached the
Stormwater 2%
 
Sewage 3%
 
Wildlife 0%
 
Other 5%
 
Unknown 76%
 
No Data 13%
CaaSuces  Ctamat

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