SMC Beachwater Contamination Update

Pollution from sewage overflows, oil spills, and stormwater runoff continues to plague America's beaches, contributing to 5,756 closing and advisory days last year in California, a near doubling of days for the state, and leading to the second-highest number of closing and advisory days nationwide in more than two decades, according to the 21st annual beachwater quality report. 

Top 10 Repeat Offenders
San Mateo County beachwater contamination closure days:
  1. Pillar Point (145 days) 
  2. Oyster Point Marina (96 days)
  3. Lakeshore Park (93 days)
  4. Coyote Point County Park (63 days)
  5. Aquatic Park (58 days)
  6. Kiteboard Beach (57 days)
  7. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (55 days)
  8. Pacifica State Beach (35 days)
  9. Bean Hollow State Beach (28 days)
  10. Venice State Beach & Pescadero State Beach (both 27 days)

Sabrina's plan to improve water quality:

  • Engage residents (liveaboards), commercial, and recreational users as well as visitors about the hazards of dumping septic waste, plastic bags, cans, garbage, oil, and fuel.
  • Improve water circulation patterns within Pillar Point Harbor and support solutions to improve water quality. 
  • Improve trash disposal areas overall at both Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina.
  • Improve pet waste disposal areas and signage.
  • Publish water quality educational information on the Harbor District website.
  • Post warning signage at beaches with contaminated beachwater

Beachwater pollution nationwide causes a range of waterborne illnesses in swimmers including stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, ear, nose and throat problems, dysentery, hepatitis, respiratory ailments, neurological disorders and other serious health problems. For senior citizens, small children and people with weak immune systems, the results can be fatal. The incidence of infections has steadily increased over the past several decades, and with coastal populations growing, it is reasonable to expect this upward trend to continue until the pollution sources are addressed.