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 firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.