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City of Santa Cruz Takes New Steps to Combat Cowell Beach Bacteria
Posted Date: 5/22/2014 10:00 AM

SANTA CRUZ (May 22, 2014) – The City of Santa Cruz is taking new and aggressive measures to address the water quality at a confined area on Cowell Beach.


City crews last week installed slide gates on storm drain culverts at Neary Lagoon which are expected to lower future bacterial counts. The gates better isolate the lagoon water which is largely contaminated by wildlife and help prevent the flow from seeping into Cowell‘s sand.


“The City continues to diligently test the area in question and we are methodically eliminating possible sources of contamination within the City’s control,” said City of Santa Cruz Associate Civil Engineer Steve Wolfman. “We know that bird and human waste have been contributing factors and we have taken steps to reduce those readings with improved results from last year.”


The Public Works Department continues to monitor surrounding private properties to ensure storm gates are secure and pipelines in sewer lines are functioning properly.  The City is also collaborating with beach advocacy groups to gather valuable input and evaluate all options for bettering the water quality at Cowell Beach.

In addition, since voters approved Measure E in 2008 which promotes clean and healthy beaches, the City has identified and mitigated pollution through several efforts including investing $200,000 annually for beach cleaning, trash removal, new signage and public outreach.