The Humboldt County Environmental Health Department monitors fecal coliform near creek mouths at local beaches. Fecal coliform are indicators of other pathogens, many of which are difficult to detect. Faulty septic systems, pet and livestock feces, and leaky sewage pipes can all contribute to the high levels of fecal coliform in local creeks. Fecal coliform, including E. coli, also originate from seabirds and marine mammals, but sampling data show much higher levels after major rainstorms, suggesting that stormwater and agricultural runoff are also contributing to these impacts on water quality.
The County Health Department recommends that beachgoers avoid contact with ocean and creek water until at least 3 days after a heavy rainfall.
Results from weekly sampling at Moonstone Beach, Clam Beach, Trinidad State Beach, Luffenholtz Creek, and Mad River Estuary are posted on the County’s website.
Waterkeeper Swim Guide is an app that helps you find the best beaches to enjoy with your friends and family. We deliver the latest beach water quality information right to your smartphone.
The Swim Guide utilizes water quality monitoring data from government authorities tested at over 400 beaches in California and shows you the current status of the most popular beaches so you can determine if the water is safe for swimming.