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Photo: Dan Sullivan
Swimming in the Bay
San Francisco Bay waters have something for everyone. Whatever your passion, it’s important to know about Bay water quality before heading out to the beach. Remember that at nearly every Bay swimming beach, the water is tested for illness-causing contaminants. If you’re still unsure about water quality, however, use the following guidelines.
- Look for warning signs.
- Avoid the water during rainstorms and for three days after the rain.
- Always avoid swimming in front of visible storm drain outfall pipes.
Save The Bay Protects Public Health at the Beach
Healthy Bay Beaches – It’s the Law!
In 2004, Save The Bay sponsored a Healthy Bay Beaches law (AB1876), requiring Bay beach water quality monitoring to meet stringent state guidelines. When high bacteria levels are detected, warning signs must be posted on the beaches.
Beach Water Quality FAQ
Crown Beach Improvements
Save The Bay successfully persuaded the East Bay Regional Park District to upgrade the signage and monitoring system at Alameda’s Crown Beach, the most heavily used beach in the Bay Area. The new “stoplight” warning signs are easier to understand than the previous signs, which displayed raw test results without any explanation.
Know Before You Go
Get live updates about water quality at your favorite beach:
- http://www.beaches911.org/ (all but Alameda/CoCo)
- www.healthebay.org/brc/statemap.asp (all but SM and Marin Bayside)
Review the water quality history of local beaches:
Learn more about recreational water illness: