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San Diego County Chapter

Blue Water Task Force Volunteers

How do I become a volunteer?

Sign-up for an upcoming shift and we’ll pair you up with an experienced volunteer. They’ll show you the ropes and walk you through the entire process.

Learn more about our water quality monitoring process.

How to Sign Up for a Volunteer Shift
  1. Decide on a volunteer role (sampling, lab processing and/or data analysis)
  2. Sign up for a shift
  3. New volunteers who have not been trained by a lead BWTF volunteer will receive further instructions 2-3 days before their shift.

Resources

Water Quality Monitoring

Click to view, print and download information about our weekly water quality sampling process.

Water sampling Procedures
Data sheet (Printable)
Silver strand state beach research permit

Lab Processing and Data

Click to view, print and download information about our weekly water quality monitoring process.

Check out the data
Lab Processing Procedures
Database Log-in

List of Sampling Sites

Site Name Location Site History Conditions Latitude Longitude Google Maps
Avenida Del Sol Coronado Link Surfline 32.677687 -117.177234 Map
Silver Strand State Beach Coronado Link Surfline 32.630875 -117.141427 Map
I.B. Pier Imperial Beach Link Surfline 32.579563 -117.133168 Map
Seacoast Drive Imperial Beach Link Surfline 32.566029 -117.133205 Map
Tourmaline Surf Park Pacific Beach Link Surfline 32.8050 -117.26280 Map
Campland Mission Bay Link TBD 32.794942467 -117.22130 Map
Mission Bay Aquatic Center Mission Bay Link TBD 32.781743 -117.248223 Map
OB Pier Ocean Beach Link Surfline 32.747222 -117.253333 Map
Dog Beach Ocean Beach Link Surfline 32.754167 -117.252500 Map
Sunset Cliffs Ocean Beach Link Surfline 32.719471 -117.25702 Map
Scanning electron micrograph of enterococci. Photo: Lisac Mark, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

What are you testing for?

We are testing for Enterococcus, a fecal indicator bacteria. The EPA uses this bacteria as an indicator to determine if a recreational area is safe for public use. Enterococci are indicators of the presence of fecal material in water and therefore, of the possible presence of other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. These pathogens can sicken swimmers and others who use rivers and streams for recreation or eat raw shellfish or fish. Other potential health effects can include diseases of the skin, eyes, ears, and respiratory tract.

The Enterolert Test uses a proprietary nutrient indicator to detect enterococci. This nutrient indicator fluoresces when metabolized by enterococci.

How do you test for Enterococcus?

We use an EPA-approved 24-hour detection test, Enteroalert by IDEXX.

Samples are diluted and mixed with a reagent. Then they are sealed in Quanti-Trays and incubated over a 24-hour period. The following day, the Quanti-Trays are examined under a UV light for fluorescent indicators. The number of fluorescent squares present on a Quanti-Tray is used to determine the bacterial levels using a most probable number (MPN) method.