The South Sound Chapter based in Tacoma, Washington is testing six locations around the Sound. Chapter volunteers collect the water samples and deliver them to the Tacoma Public School's Science and Math Institute (SAMi) where high school students process them in the lab and record the results under the watch of their Teacher advisor.
The Chapter is coordinating with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's Swimming Beaches program and the Washington State Department of Ecology's BEACH Program to ensure that their sampling proctocols align with the agency programs. They are also working on adjusting their sampling locations to help extend the County's beach testing program throughout both the regulated summer beach season and during the colder months when the County is not testing but recreational users such as divers and paddlers are still very active.
As with any volunteer or agency-run beach water testing program, the South Sound Chapter's water quality data only reflects results taken at one location on the day sampled, and do not guarantee that the beach is bacteria-free. The Washington State's Department of Ecology and Health’s BEACH program monitors high-use beaches frequently (weekly or bi-weekly) during the summer swimming season. Find public beaches and info on beach closures at: https://fortress.wa.gov
To volunteer for the Chapter's water testing program or to ask any questions, please contact the South Sound Blue Water Task Force Coordinator, Bruce Hoeft: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about beach monitoring programs and water quality issues in Washington in the water quality section of Surfrider's State of the Beach, Washington State Report or check out the WA State summary in NRDC's Testing the Waters Report.
Stay updated about beach water quality at Washington Beaches with the Dept of Ecology through their: