Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Public Data Ferret On KOM0 1000: Beach Water Quality

by June 30th, 2010

Yesterday on my regular weekly KOMO 1000 radio segment highlighting our Public Data Ferret project, the topic was swimming beach water quality. Here’s the audio file, and the original Ferret write-up. Now, the full transcript of the segment.

Nancy Barrick: “And are you heading to the beach this summer, planning to, if we get some nice weather? Make sure the water isn’t polluted. Matt Rosenberg with is on the news line, our Public Data Ferret. And Matt, how about this King County link that you’re checking out, when it comes to beaches?”

Matt Rosenberg: “Yeah. Lately we’ve heard quite a bit about concerns on the swimming water around Golden Gardens Beach in Seattle, and fecal coliform bacteria. But what about all the other beaches around here? And that’s where this great site from King County comes in. Their swimming beach bacteria measurements are very helpful. They check out 28 different public swimming beaches or streams, all summer long, and they report it online. And it’s a really good site to check out before you head out with the kids.”

“In fact, there’ve been 16 beach closures due to this bacteria since 1998 and the worst trouble spots have been Juanita, Meydenbauer Bay, Matthews and Gene Coulon beaches. So far this season, just one closure, at Hidden Lake, in Shoreline – but there have been 11 other instances where bacteria levels raised some concerns. The site is real intuitive. Maps, clickable, lots of data coming right at you. So I highly recommend it.”

Carleen Johnson: “And Matt, what about the state site, where you can check out the safety of shellfish harvesting?”

Matt Rosenberg: That’s an excellent site the state provides. And some of the beaches in Seattle on the Puget Sound side are covered there, not by the county site. But they also report on shellfish harvesting, where it’s safe and where it’s not. And as most Washingtonians know, there are always a lot of these sites (that) are closed, so you really want to check there first. And also, while we’re talking about water safety in the summer, King County warns that, you know, there were 16 drownings in open waters in King County last year. So at their beach site they also have some information on the data and prevention tips for people who are swimming. You want to stay safe.”

Nancy Barrick: “Good information. Thank you Matt Rosenberg of, our Public Data Ferret.”

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