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Thurston County annual BEACH report

Three beaches in Thurston County were sampled weekly or biweekly from May 22 through Sept. 1, 2017:

  • Burfoot County Park
  • Priest Point Park
  • West Bay Park

Details on each beach are presented in the text below.

Beach lined by cliff, big logs on shore

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 2017 beach season, 62 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 three Thurston County beaches weekly or biweekly during the swimming season. Burfoot County Park was sampled weekly from May 22 through Sept. 1, 2017. Priest Point Park was sampled by Surfrider volunteers weekly and West Bay Park every other week during the same time period. Details on each beach are in the text below.

Burfoot County Park beach

During the 2017 swim season, Burfoot County Park beach had excellent water quality, meeting the swimming standards during all 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 2017 swim season, Priest Point County Park beach had excellent water quality, meeting the swimming standard for all periods sampled.

West Bay Park

During the 2017 swim season, West Bay Park was sampled seven times. This beach had excellent water quality and met the swimming standards for all periods sampled. West Bay Park has a permanent swim advisory due to proximity to a sewage treatment plant and stormwater outfalls.
 

Data summary: Bacteria results compared to standards

The chart below summarizes the bacteria levels at Thurston 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 Thurston County beaches
(in enterococcus per 100 mL) for 2017
Beach Geometric Mean Statistical Threshold Value
Burfoot County Park 11 16
Priest Point Park 14 28
West Bay Park 18 34