When pollutants are poured down drains or flushed down toilets in the city, these substances have a direct impact on not only our wastewater treatment, but also the wider waterways that surround us here in San Francisco. As part of Pollution Prevention Week, we are highlighting the ways in which we work to monitor and maintain our water quality at our beaches and in the Bay.
The SFPUC proudly boasts a team of committed biologists and chemists who routinely take samples of water from our local beaches and perform tests to determine if it’s safe for visitors to recreate. If pollutant levels exceed state maximum allowances, the SFPUC displays signs to advise the public to temporarily avoid water-based recreation. Thanks to this team of scientists, we have a consistent and clear understanding of our beach water quality. This information is publicly accessible. To learn more about current beach water quality and any posted signs, go to: sfwater.org/beaches.
As part of the Pollution Prevention program, the SFPUC educates the public on ways they can help reduce overall pollution. As an agency, we do our part by cleaning storm drains to make sure they are functioning properly, we provide resources to businesses, as well as various ways residents can get involved. We are constantly coming up with new ways to prevent pollution and help maintain the water quality of our beaches in the city.
You can help keep pollution out of the ocean and bay by remembering to properly dispose of household and industrial waste. Simple actions such as properly disposing of medications, cooking oils, batteries, paint, and other household chemicals can help keep these substances out of our wastewater. When visiting beaches, you can help keep our shorelines clean by leaving zero trace and taking all your trash with you. The combination of these efforts will go a long way to help our experts, your fellow beachgoers, and the wider environment.
During Pollution Prevention Week from September 21st to the 27th, the SFPUC will be talking all things pollution prevention. Follow us @sfwater on social media to keep up with Pollution Prevention Week education and daily tips.