Join the San Mateo Water Sampling Team

What are you doing this Summer?

Help protect San Mateo County beach users by sampling beach, creek and bay waters!

  • County staff will provide training, needed equipment and supplies for the sampling.
  • Samples are collected every Monday morning, and volunteers drop samples at convenient locations in either Half Moon Bay or Pacifica for transport by County staff to the Public Health Laboratory for analysis.
  • Sampling occurs year‐round, and the frequency, duration and extent of volunteering is flexible.
  • You must provide your own transportation in order to collect and drop off water samples.

Water samples from natural recreational waters in San Mateo County are sampled each week for concentrations of indicator bacteria. If concentrations of indicator bacteria exceed State or County standards, the area is posted to warn users that they may become ill if they engage in water contact activities in the posted area. Here is an interactive map of beach and creek water quality monitoring results.

If you are interested in gaining valuable experience helping to protect the public at San Mateo County beaches, creeks and lagoons, please contact Kate Elgin, San Mateo County Environmental Health Specialist, at kelgin@smcgov.org or (650) 372‐6282.

More information our the County of San Mateo Health System website.



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