Thursday, January 28, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021

 Even More Stormy Than Tuesday and Now Probably Toxic.

I'm not swimming today and I'm not sure about this weekend. 

It is really rough this morning but the big worry for swimming is that the water is full of silt from San Luis Obispo Creek. My past experience with these conditions have me expecting that the level of enterococcus bacteria in the creek will be extremely high. 
Enterococcus bacteria is the EPA's lead indicator for the presence of human waste. What the concentration of bacteria is at any point in the bay at a given time depends on the direction and force of the tide, the amount and direction of the push from the wind and waves and the force and volume of the outflow from the creek. So you can't know without collect a sample. In this image the water appears to be brown from silt out past the end of the Cal Poly Pier which means the whole area where we usually swim should be avoided until the water clears up.

I coordinate the local Surfrider Foundation chapter's Blue Water Task Force program. Every Thursday 10 volunteers collect 16 water samples from county creeks and beaches. The samples are tested for enterococcus bacteria at our lab in the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach. Results from today's samples will be posted here;  between 10 and noon tomorrow. The state's standard for safe water contact is 104 organisms per 100ml.  I'm expecting numbers from SLO Creek to be many times that amount. 

If you feel the need to get in the water avoid sites that are near creek outfalls.



1 comment:

kwatkins said...

1:30 PM Saturday Hey Niel: Checking that water testing link at 1:30 PM Saturday Jan 30. Latest results are from Jan 21? Do you know when they will update?