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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

San Francisco Beaches and Water Quality: There's an App for That

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM

  • Beth LaBerge

A good place to lay out in the sun (when Karl's away), if the rangers are sticklers about booze, proximity to a Muni line, and if Fido is welcome may top your What-I-Need-In-A-Beach list. But there's another element to think about that's not as glamorous as the alcohol policy: water quality. While you can check It's Always Sunny in San Francisco to see if the sun's out at the coast, and put your wine in a plastic container, it can be hard to determine what's going on in the waves. So of course there's now an app for that.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has debuted the SF Beaches app that provides  water quality updates for 14 spots along the San Francisco shoreline, including popular weekend spots like Baker Beach, Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, and Aquatic Park. Of course if you're more of a sun worshipper than a wader it may not be pertinent to you, but if you're going to don a swim cap or grab a surf board then we think it's best to check it out. 

To determine days with high amounts of "shoreline bacteria," the SFPUC analyzes samples from each of the 14 beaches on weekly basis and on additional days when necessary, such as when there's a sewer issue (you can imagine what that includes), according to their site. They also state you may want to avoid the beaches after it rains (if it ever does again), as those are also times where there can be a higher amount of bacteria in the water due to runoff. 

The free app is available for iPhones and androids. 

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About The Author

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie is the Web Editor and has been with SF Weekly since 2010.

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