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Thurston County annual BEACH report

Two beaches in Thurston County were sampled weekly from May 24 through Aug. 29, 2016:

  • Burfoot County Park
  • Priest Point Park

Details on both beaches are presented in the text below.

Burfoot County Park in Thurston 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.

During the 2016 beach season, 61 public beaches on coastlines were sampled from Memorial Day through Labor Day. High-use beaches were sampled weekly or biweekly for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness.

Thurston County saltwater swimming beaches

We sampled two Thurston County beaches weekly during the swimming season. Burfoot County Park was sampled weekly from May 24 through Aug. 29, 2016, and Priest Point Park was sampled by Surfrider volunteers every other week during the same time period. Details on each beach are in the text below.

Burfoot County Park beach

During the 2016 swim season, Burfoot County Park beach had good water quality. On July 18, sampling results were in the advisory range, but subsequent sampling showed that bacteria levels had dropped into the safe swimming range. This beach met the swimming standards during all other periods sampled.

Priest Point Park beach

Priest Point Park has a permanent swim advisory due to proximity to a sewage treatment plant and stormwater outfalls. During the 2016 swim season, Priest Point County Park beach had good water quality.

On June 21, sampling results were in the advisory range, but subsequent sampling showed that bacteria levels had dropped into the safe swimming range. This beach met the swimming standards during all other periods sampled.

Data summary: Bacteria results compared to standards

The chart below summarizes the bacteria levels in these 2 beaches in relation to the EPA swimming standard:

  Geometric Mean 90th Percentile
EPA Swimming Standard ≤ 35 ≤ 276
Burfoot County Park 13 39
Priest Point Park 28 80