We monitor Bay View State Park beach in Skagit County where water quality has been compromised for several years.
From 2011 through 2015, the beach failed to meet recreational swimming standards. Skagit County has been able to find and fix sources of pollution to the bay, improving overall water quality.
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.
Skagit County saltwater swimming beach
We monitored Bay View State Park beach weekly from May 21 through Aug. 31, 2018:
Data summary: Bacteria results compared to standards
The chart below summarizes the bacteria levels at Skagit 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 Bay View State Park beach (in enterococcus per 100 mL) for 2018
||Statistical Threshold Value
|Bay View State Park