Blue Water Task Force Sampling
The Blue Water Task Force monitors water quality September through May. We know that people play in the Puget Sound all yearround so while the WA Department of Ecology monitors water quality in thewarmer months (Memorial Day to Labor Day) our teamof volunteers sample for harmful bacteria at eleven local recreationsites in the south sound area during the "off" months. Thesecommunity science samples are organized by the South Sound Surfrider chapter and are collected on the first Tuesday of the monthSeptember through May as a way to maintain a snapshot of enterococcuslevels in our local waterways when the WA Department of Ecology BEACH Program isn'tsampling. The water quality results are typicallyposted the Thursday following sampling on the Blue Water Task Force website. From this site, you can download a full CSV file of the data taken over the years to look attrends. You may notice that if we get a high reading, the sites are retested.If the resampled sites are still showing high levels of bacteria, then wecontact the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and they enact a follow up to helpsolve the water quality issue (as of 12/13/22, Thea Foss Waterway has a high bacteria advisory). It's pretty rad to have the community supportfor this science at so many levels. This of course includes the many volunteerswho make this sampling possible including folks from the Harbor WildWatch team and the Science and Math Institute!