Pierce County annual BEACH report

We monitored nine beaches in Pierce County from May 21 through Aug. 31, 2018:

  • Dash Point Metro Park
  • Jack Hyde Park
  • Kopachuck State Park
  • Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park
  • Penrose Point State Park
  • Purdy Sandspit County Park
  • Ruston Way Waterfront Park
  • Sunnyside Beach Park
  • Titlow Park
Family walks along rocky beach with trees and Mt. Ranier in background

Owen Beach in Pierce County

Keeping beaches safe

The 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.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2018, we sampled 62 public high-use beaches statewide, either weekly or biweekly, for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness.

Pierce County saltwater swimming beaches

We monitored nine beaches in Pierce County from May 21 – Aug. 31, 2018. All beaches were sampled weekly.

Find details about each of the Pierce County beaches below:

Dash Point Metro Park Jack Hyde Park Kopachuck State Park Owen Beach Penrose Point State Park Purdy Sandspit County Park Ruston Way Waterfront Park Sunnyside Beach Park Titlow Park

Data summary: Bacteria results compared to standards

The chart below summarizes the bacteria levels at Pierce County beaches in relation to the EPA swimming standard or saltwater swimming criteria. Beaches are considered unsafe for swimming when the geometric mean of enterococcus/100 mL of water is greater than or equal to 35 and the statistical threshold value of enterococcus/100 mL is greater than or equal to 276. We issue a public swimming advisory when enterococcus levels reach 104 per 100 mL of water.

Table: Calculated geometric mean and statistical threshold value at Pierce County beaches (in enterococcus per 100 mL) for 2018

Beach Geometric Mean Statistical Threshold Value
Dash Point Metro Park <10 11
Jack Hyde Park 16 41
Kopachuck State Park 10 14
Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park 10 14
Penrose Point State Park 10 12
Purdy Sandspit County Park 10 17
Sunnyside Beach Park 12 25
Titlow Park 14 225
Waterfront Dock, Ruston Way 16 37