Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fecal Matters: 2015 Washington BEACH Program Monitoring Season Comes to an End

BEACH Program Update

September 8, 2015 marked the end of the 2015 Washington BEACH Program monitoring season which runs annually from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  We are no longer collecting weekly water samples to check bacteria levels from saltwater beaches that were being monitored throughout Puget Sound and the Coast.

The Makah BEACH Program will continue sampling the following beaches: Dakwas Park Beach, Front Street Beach East, Hobuck Beach, Sooes Beach, and Third Beach, Neah Bay.  These beaches are sampled weekly throughout the year and are located in Clallam County.

As we continue into fall, Western Washington experiences a combination of rainy days and sunny days.  When the sun comes out after it’s been raining for a while, people often flock to the beach. But be cautious, after a heavy rainfall water runs off of paved surfaces and land.  Runoff can carry pollutants like fecal bacteria to nearby lakes, rivers, and saltwater beaches.  Pet waste, domestic and wildlife animal waste can easily be washed downstream. Heavy rains can also cause sewage systems to overflow and discharge untreated sewage into nearby water bodies.

Protect yourself and your family from getting sick by reducing contact with fresh or marine water after a heavy rain. Avoid swimming for 24 hours after heavy rainfall, especially in areas where you see pipes or streams that drain directly to the beach. 

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

Stay updated about water quality at your beaches by keeping up with us on our blog Fecal Matters, on Facebook, or join our listserv.

Debby Sargeant is the BEACH Program Manager and is available at 360-407-6139 or for questions.

No comments: