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County of Sonoma California

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Fresh Water Quality Sampling: Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon and Russian River Beaches

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Overview

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services monitors bacterial levels in the water at beaches along the Russian River and also monitors Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon in cooperation with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department. Sampling is conducted once a week each summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

In 2014, through a collaborative effort with Sonoma County Regional Parks Department, permanent signs were installed at all monitored beaches that indicate the current status of a given beach using a stoplight color format:

GREEN indicates the beach is open - bacterial level results are within State guidelines (pdf).

YELLOW indicates the beach is open, but swimming is not advised - bacterial level results exceed State guidelines (pdf), but are not associated with a known or suspected human sewage release.

RED indicates the beach is closed - bacterial level results exceed State guidelines (pdf) and are associated with a known or suspected human sewage release.

Test results are posted below on this webpage. For current postings, call the Beach Hotline at (707) 565-6552.

Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon Bacteriological Test Results

NOTE: Sample Points 1 through 7 are within Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon. Sample Point 8 is within Spring Lake proper (for comparison purposes).

View map

Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon - Sampling Results 2016
  Sample PT. 1 Sample PT. 2 Sample PT. 3 Sample PT. 4 Sample PT. 5 Sample PT. 6 Sample PT. 7 Sample PT. 8
Date Sampled TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC
May 25, 2016 2,419.60 56 1,119.90 44.8 178.2 26.2 2 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 20.1 2 <1.0 <1.0 >2419.6 60.2
May 31, 2016 2,909 52 8.6 1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 2 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 >2419.8 1
June 6, 2016 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 >2419.6 5.2
June 14, 2016 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 >2419.8 8.6
June 20, 2016 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 613.1 1
June 27, 2016 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1 1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1555.1 1
July 5, 2016 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1 1 <1.0 <1.0 9.8 6.3 <1.0 <1.0 3 2 261.3 2
July 11, 2016 307.6 74.8 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 >2419.6 9.8
July 18, 2016 4.1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1.0 1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1.0 <1.0 1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1,553.1 <1.0
July 25, 2016 8.3 6 2 <1 <1.0 <1.0 66.3 63.1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1,299.7 1
August 2, 2016 1.0 <1.0 4.1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 3.1 2 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1,553.1 6.3
August 8, 2016 35.5 <1.0 1.0 1 <1.0 <1.0 2.0 1.0 4.1 <1.0 4.1 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 167.0 1
August 15, 2016 >2419.6 * 14.6 8.5 5.2 4.1 6.3 4.1 77.1 21.6 <1.0 <1.0 29.2 12.0 >2419.6 5.2
August 16, 2016 2.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 6.3 2.0 <1.0 <1.0 74.3 62.7 1.0 <1.0 6.3 4.1 >2419.6 4.1
August 22, 2016 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 1.0 <1.0 <1.0 <1.0 >2419.6 3.1

* Resample conducted

Print this table (pdf)

Color Key

Colored results in above table signify the following:

GREEN indicates the beach is open - bacterial level results are within State guidelines (pdf).

YELLOW indicates the beach is open, but swimming is not advised - bacterial level results exceed State guidelines (pdf), but are not associated with a known or suspected human sewage release.

RED indicates the beach is closed - bacterial level results exceed State guidelines (pdf) and are associated with a known or suspected human sewage release.

Acronyms

TC = Total Coliform - Most Probable Number (MPN)

EC = Escherichia coli - MPN

Test Results from Previous Years

Spring Lake Bacteriological Test Results - 2015 (pdf)

Spring Lake Bacteriological Test Results - 2014 (pdf)

Spring Lake Bacteriological Test Results - 2013 (pdf)

Spring Lake Bacteriological Test Results - 2012 (pdf)

Spring Lake Bacteriological Test Results - 2011 (pdf)

Russian River Bacteriological Test Results

The following ten beaches are sampled along the Russian River:

  • Cloverdale River Park
  • Del Rio Woods Beach
  • Camp Rose Beach
  • Healdsburg Veterans Beach
  • Steelhead Beach
  • Forestville Access Beach
  • Sunset Beach
  • Johnson's Beach
  • Monte Rio Beach
  • Patterson Point

View map

Russian River Beach Sampling Sites for 2016 Season
  Cloverdale River Park Del Rio Woods Beach Camp Rose Beach Healdsburg Veterans Steelhead Beach Forestville Access Beach Sunset Beach Johnson's Beach Monte Rio Beach Patterson Point
Date Sampled TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC TC EC
May 31, 2016 2,909 52 1,658 10 1,178 20 <10 <10 388 10 1,296 10 1,100 52 631 <10 1,607 175 2,359 20
June 6, 2016 4,106 31 2,481 30 2,755 20 1,376 98 1,172 63 1,076 20 1,210 52 836 10 1,187 63 1,842 20
June 13, 2016 3,654 20 1,720 10 1,401 <10 1,450 109 1,296 31 855 52 1,500 20 1,050 10 1,354 480 383 <10
June 20, 2016 2,359 41 1,793 20 1,872 10 1,956 109 1,296 20 884 <10 1,354 10 1,274 30 2,613 * 2,755 52
June 21, 2016 3,654 122
June 27, 2016 4,352 97 2,481 31 1,720 <10 2,247 75 1,624 31 16,279 20 1,722 10 2,489 20 2,481 63 4,106 *
June 29, 2016     4,106 41
July 5, 2016 5,173 63 2,014 10 2,247 20 4,611 20 1,616 10 2,098 20 2,359 10 2,489 31 2,909 20 5,794 41
July 11, 2016 4,106 31 1,785 <10 2,851 41 1,616 10 1,187 10 1,850 10 1,723 30 1,918 10 * * 3,255 74
July 12, 2016 5,475 52
July 18, 2016 6,488 20 1,376 <10 3,676 30 1,100 31 1,565 10 2,481 20 1,553 <10 4,884 31 * 10 1,500 <10
July 20, 2016 2,098 20
July 25, 2016 2,481 20 3,256 41 2,359 31 1,187 20 2,909 63 2,046 10 1,860 10 2,098 <10 2,282 20 4,352 30
August 1, 2016 3,076 10 1,850 10 2,755 10 1,396 20 1,439 <10 3,448 31 2,046 10 1,989 20 1,017 10 4,352 <10
August 8, 2016 2,481 41 3,076 <10 2,909 <10 1,674 <10 1,541 <10 932 10 1,169 20 1,515 <10 1,334 <10 2,098 31
August 15, 2016 3,076 52 1,989 <10 2,481 <10 1,860 31 1,106 10 1,334 <10 1,112 <10 1,376 31 1,723 <10 1,354 31
August 22, 2016 2,755 52 1,281 20 2,755 20 1,904 20 2,014 52 809 <10 1,178 <10 1,153 <10 1,223 110 1,722 30

* Resample conducted

Print this table (pdf)

Color Key

Colored results in above table signify the following:

GREEN indicates the beach is open - bacterial level results are within State guidelines (pdf).

YELLOW indicates the beach is open, but swimming is not advised - bacterial level results exceed State guidelines (pdf), but are not associated with a known or suspected human sewage release.

RED indicates the beach is closed - bacterial level results exceed State guidelines (pdf) and are associated with a known or suspected human sewage release.

Acronyms

TC = Total Coliform - Most Probable Number (MPN)

EC = Escherichia coli - MPN

Test Results from Previous Years

Russan River Bacteriological Test Results - 2015 (pdf)

Russan River Bacteriological Test Results - 2014 (pdf)

Russan River Bacteriological Test Results - 2013 (pdf)

Russan River Bacteriological Test Results - 2012 (pdf)

Russian River Bacteriological Test Results - 2011 (pdf)

About Bacteriological Testing

Samples are tested for levels of total coliform and E. coli (Eschericha coli) bacteria as indicators of water quality. Though these are not considered disease-causing agents, their presence above certain numeric levels is suggestive of the presence of other, difficult to detect and quantify pathogenic microorganisms that can cause health effects. The use of these indicators is an effective way of monitoring the overall well-being of recreational waters.

The term total coliform bacteria refers to a number of bacteria including Escherichia, Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Enterobacter. They are associated with feces of warm-blooded animals and are also present in soil.

E. coli is a type of fecal coliform and is an indicator of fresh fecal pollution. Fecal coliform bacteria are a subgroup of the total coliform group. They are indicators of fecal contamination because they are restricted to the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. Their use enables separation of bacteria from soil and fecal origin.

The California Department of Public Health has issued the Draft Guidance for Fresh Water Beaches (pdf). It contains recommended bacterial levels for public notification and posting of beaches.

Single Sample Values

Beach posting is recommended when indicator organisms exceed any of the following levels:

  • Total coliforms: 10,000 per 100 ml
  • E. Coli: 235 per 100 ml

Thirty-Day Average Values

Additional sanitary surveys and other related evaluations, including more frequent sampling if levels appear to be on an increasing trend, are recommended when indicator organisms exceed any of the following, based on the log mean of at least 5 equally spaced samples in a 30-day period:

  • Total coliforms: 1,000 per 100 ml
  • E. coli: 126 per 100 ml

Swimmer's Itch (Cercarial Dermatitis)

Although Swimmer's Itch (Cercarial Dermatitis) is not related to bacterial water quality monitoring described above, it is of interest to bathers in fresh water environments, and is worth mentioning here.

During the summer 2000 season, Spring Lake Lagoon experienced an outbreak of Swimmer's Itch. In response to that outbreak, Sonoma County Regional Parks Department solved the problem by removing the flow-through between Spring Lake and Spring Lake Lagoon, and by installing a recirculation system for the lagoon that is equipped with filters and chlorinators (similar to that installed for a public pool). The chlorine residual essentially kills the larval stage of the parasite causing Swimmer's Itch, thus ending the lifecycle. Incidentally, occurrences of Swimmer's Itch have also been reported on occasion at beaches on the Russian River.

Swimmer's Itch is caused by the minute larval stages of certain trematode worms (cercariae) penetrating into the skin of humans resulting in an itchy rash and/or bumps that resemble mosquito bites. The rash is not contagious.

The lifecycle of these worms is such that infected water fowl or other mammals release eggs from the parasite in their feces when the definitive hosts contact water. The eggs hatch and the parasite enters the intermediate hosts, aquatic snails. Free-swimming cercariae emerge from the snails after several weeks and penetrate the definitive hosts. In the case of Swimmers Itch, humans are mistaken for the definitive host water fowl.

Swimmers usually do not feel the worms burrowing into the skin, but once penetrated, the cercariae die causing an allergic reaction and resultant itchy rash. Discomfort is usually short-lived, although it can persist for several weeks. Most cases of Swimmers Itch do not require medical attention. If you have a rash, you may try the following for relief:

  • Use corticosteroid cream
  • Apply cool compresses to the affected area
  • Bathe in Epsom salts or baking soda

To reduce the likelihood of developing Swimmer's Itch:

  • Do not swim in areas where Swimmer's Itch is a known problem or where signs have been posted warning of unsafe water.
  • Do not swim near or wade in marshy areas where snails are commonly found.
  • Towel dry or shower immediately after leaving the water.
  • Do not attract birds (e.g., by feeding them) to areas where Swimmers Itch is a current problem.

Parasites - Cercarial Dermatitis (also known as Swimmer's Itch)
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Test Results Updates

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Subscribe to Fresh Water Quality Sampling updates

For current postings, call the Beach Sampling Hotline at (707) 565-6552.

Health Topics

Blue-Green Algae Health Facts & Information

Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs)
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Contact

Environmental Health and Safety Programs
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 565-6565
eh@sonoma-county.org

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