Recreational Water & Drinking Water Program

Environmental Health provides a routine ocean bacteriological water quality monitoring and public notification program for 5 ocean beaches. The results are made available to the public on the Ocean Monitoring Program pages.

When state standards are exceeded, the affected beaches are posted and press releases are issued to notify the public. We also assist the state Department of Health Services by publicizing the annual quarantine for sport-harvested mussels.

The quarantine occurs from May through October. In addition, Environmental Health collects mussel samples from the open coast. The mussels are tested by the state for Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) and domoic acid, 2 naturally occurring toxins in these shellfish.

Public Information & Awareness Campaign
During the summer season, we conduct a public information and awareness campaign on the potential health hazards to humans and pets from toxic blue green algae blooms. The South Fork of the Eel River and Big Lagoon are annually posted with signs alerting the public to stay out of areas with heavy growths of algae.

Dogs have been harmed by blooms in previous years at these locations, and the potential exists for impacts to human health. Toxic blooms of blue green algae have been documented over the past few years on the Klamath River system and its reservoirs by federal, tribal and state entities.

Blue Green Algae Working Group
Environmental Health participates in a blue green algae working group whose purpose is to monitor the Klamath River for blue green algae, and educate the public about its potential health impacts.

Other Water Systems
This program also assists individuals with onsite drinking water systems, and users of state small water systems serving 5 to 14 connections.