Our Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication & Health (BEACH) Program ensures that marine water is safe to swim and play in and informs the public if water doesn't meet swimming standards.
No more than one sampling event exceeeded the swimming standard at 91 percent of the 67 marine beaches sampled for harmful bacteria through our BEACH program in 2019. This is a five percent decrease in passing beaches over the previous year.
You can look up your local beach and see how clean it was during 2019 with county-by-county links below. Also, you can compare 2019 to previous years and overall averages with our summary chart.
Keeping beaches safe
From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2019, our scientists and county and local BEACH partners sampled 62 public beaches on marine waters for bacterial contamination. We collected water samples from high-use beaches weekly or biweekly to test for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness. This information helps health officials issue swimming advisories.
Makah Tribe BEACH scientists sample five public beaches weekly throughout the year on the Makah reservation. Their data are included in our summary below under Clallam County.
Water quality — beach by beach
Click on the county links below for more details on water quality at local swimming beaches:
Beach water quality summary 2019
State, local, and tribal scientists sampled 67 beaches in 2019. As you can see in the chart below, 91 percent of beaches had fewer than two exceedances of the swimming standard. The percentage of beaches meeting the swimming criteria decreased by 5 percent from 2018.