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SWAMP - Region-wide Activities

Recreational Beneficial Use Assessments

Since 2007, the Central Valley Water Board has conducted Recreational Beneficial Use Assessments monitoring each summer. Recreation beneficial uses are assessed using E. coli as an indicator of fecal pollution. In the first two years, local swimming holes were sampled before, during, and after Labor Day weekend. Follow-up studies in 2009 and 2010 included analyses for the pathogens E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and Giardia in the watersheds with previously elevated E. coli levels. A larger region-wide study of popular swimming holes was also conducted over a five-week period in Aug-Sept, 2010. From 2011 to 2014, the Recreational Beneficial Use Assessments program was expanded to monitor swimming holes throughout the summer recreation season (April-September). The Central Valley Water Board is currently developing a monitoring plan for future Recreational Beneficial Use Assessments and bacteria source tracking efforts.

Seasonal Trend Monitoring at Central Valley Integrator Sites

From 2009 to 2014 the Central Valley Water Board SWAMP conducted quarterly trend monitoring at thirty integrator sites in the Central Valley. The study was designed to help establish a framework of monitoring sites to facilitate Region-wide assessments of water quality and to add value to existing monitoring efforts. Monitoring events were coordinated with the Sacramento Watershed Coordinated Monitoring Program, a coordinated monitoring effort between the Central Valley Water Board SWAMP and DWR, Northern Region. Monitoring site locations were also coordinated with SWAMP's statewide Stream Pollution Trends Monitoring Program, a study to monitor contaminant trends in sediment. Water quality assessments will benefit from the added value of all three monitoring programs.

Bacteria Source ID Study

In 2009, SWAMP coordinated with the University of California, Davis to conduct a bacteria source identification screening study for the Central Valley. Monitoring was conducted during four distinct seasons (snowmelt, irrigation, dry, and storm events) to assess potential sources (human, cow, dog, other). Monitoring locations were chosen to target sites with a history of elevated bacteria levels.

Central Valley Augment to Stream Pollution Trends Monitoring

In 2010 the Central Valley Water Board SWAMP augmented the Stream Pollution Trends (SPoT) monitoring to increase the number of stations and sampling frequency in three watersheds. The SPoT program monitors sediment toxicity and contaminant trends throughout the state. The Central Valley augment will improve understanding of spatial and temporal variability of contaminants, as well as potential source information. Data from the augment are included in the Field Years 2009-2010 Report for the SPoT program.

Reference Monitoring in the Foothills Chaparral

In 2006, the Central Valley Water Board SWAMP augmented the statewide Reference Condition Management Program (RCMP) to evaluate potential reference sites for biological assessments in the foothills chaparral ecoregion. Reference sites are chosen to represent natural, undisturbed systems. One of the components of the RCMP is to establish pools of reference sites to set benchmarks for biologic condition and characterize the natural variability within each ecoregion. A larger pool of reference sites will improve our understanding of the natural variability of biologic conditions in the foothills chaparral. Using this augment, five potential reference sites were identified and monitored in 2008: North Fork Antelope Creek, Middle Fork Stony Creek, Coyote Creek, Chowchilla River, and Del Puerto Creek.

  • More information on the RCMP is available in Recommendations for the Development and Maintenance of a Reference Condition Management Program to Support Biological Assessment of California's Wadeable Streams Final Report

Title 22 Monitoring of Major Water Bodies that Supply MUN Beneficial Use

The Agriculturally Dominated Water Bodies Evaluation MUN Beneficial Use Project is a coordinated project with the Basin Planning program. SWAMP provides data management and monitoring support, as needed, for the collection and analysis of Title 22 drinking water constituents in water bodies that provide the MUN beneficial use and receive discharges from Ag dominated water bodies – including, but not limited to, the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Feather Rivers.