Based on the just released 2008 Annual Ocean and Bay Water Quality Report, Orange Countians can get a sense of the cleanest beaches, the dirtiest strands and the worst sewage spillers.
Well, at least those were the ones in 2008.
There is plenty of good news in Orange County Health Care Agency's yearly water-quality report (which you can read in its entirety here). Sewage spills in 2008 dropped for the sixth straight year and hit their lowest mark since 2000. The number of beach closure days due to violations of bacterial standards between April 1 and Oct. 31, 2008—the period designated in state Assembly Bill 411 of 1998—were the lowest on record and continued a sixth consecutive year of declines. Bacterial-standard closings for the entire calendar year were also the lowest since 2000.
This data is based on a formula known as "Beach Mile Days," which measures the number of days and the linear area of ocean or bay front waters that are closed due to sewage spills or bacterial standards set forth in AB 411. So, in crunching the numbers beach-by-beach, we present . . .
CLEANEST BEACHES, APRIL 1-OCT. 31, 2008
Sunset Beach 0 Beach Mile Days
Newport Slough 0.1
Aliso County/South Laguna 0.1
Bolsa Chica 0.2
Dana Point Harbor 0.2
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CLEANEST BEACHES, CALENDAR YEAR 2008
Sunset Beach 0
Newport Slough 0.2
Bolsa Chica 0.3
Crystal Cove 0.4
Aliso County/South Laguna 0.6
DIRTIEST BEACHES, APRIL 1-OCT. 31, 2008
Doheny State, 60
Huntington State, 26.2
Newport Bay, 13.2
Capistrano County, 12
Poche Beach, 11.4
DIRTIEST BEACHES, CALENDAR YEAR 2008
Doheny State, 165.6
Capistrano Bay 60.8
Capistrano County, 44.3
Huntington State, 32.6
Newport Bay, 30.8
BIGGEST SEWAGE SPILLS OF '08
-591,000 gallons, City of Laguna Beach pump station failure, closing 10.6 miles of beach from Crescent Bay downcoast to Camel Point in Laguna Beach for six days beginning Oct. 29.
-138,000 gallons, City of Laguna Beach line break, closing 7 miles of beach from Hotel Laguna downcoast to Victoria Beach for six days beginning April 17.
-12,000 gallons, private property owner line break, closing all 5.5 miles of Doheny State Beach for five days beginning Nov. 26.
-600 gallons, City of Newport Beach line blockage caused by debris, closing 1 mile from a portion of Newport Bay from the projection of Crestview and Bay Shore Drive downbay to the Point at Bayshores for four days beginning Feb. 2.
-500 gallons, private property owner line blockage caused by debris, closing .08 miles of Bayshore Beach in Newport Bay for three days beginning Aug. 19.