Released by: Environmental Health & Safety
For Immediate Release

Monte Rio Beach Closed due to Bacterial Testing Results

Santa Rosa, CA  –  July 6, 2017  –  Recent bacterial testing of Russian River beaches indicated elevated levels of coliform bacteria at Monte Rio Beach. Today, in accordance with state guidelines, the Department of Health Services (DHS) Environmental Health staff posted ‘warning-closure’ signs at the Monte Rio Beach. The closure sign advises the public “no swimming, wading or water contact” should occur at this location. 

New samples were collected today, and DHS will continue to resample. If results show that these levels drop below state guideline levels, the beach will reopen to the public. Environmental Health conducts weekly sampling of 10 beaches along the Russian River for fresh water quality. 

Samples are tested for levels of total coliform and E. coli (Eschericha coli) bacteria as indicators of water quality. Sampling for the presence of these bacteria is an effective way of monitoring the overall well-being of recreational waters. 

DHS conducted two rounds of testing earlier this week. On July 3, test results for total coliform was 10,462 organisms per 100 ml and E. coli results was 41 organisms per 100 ml. Additional samples were collected on July 5. The follow up tests found that total coliform was 11,199 and E. coli was 833. State guidelines and DHS protocol specify that any level above 10,000 organisms per 100 ml for total coliform or 235 organism per 100 ml for E. coli require posting of signage. 

Coliforms are bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, including humans, and therefore indicate possible contamination of water by fecal waste. At significant levels this bacteria could indicate that other disease-causing agents are present. Additionally, these pathogens at certain levels can sicken swimmers and others who use the river. 

In addition to not swimming at the Monte Rio beach until further notice, DHS recommends the following healthy water habits:

  • Do not drink river water. Do not cook or wash dishes with river water.
  • Wash yourself and your family, including any pets, with clean water after river play.
  • Bring fresh water for your dog and do not let them drink river water.
  • If you have concerns regarding your family or pet's health, contact your healthcare provider or veterinarian.

For more information regarding the status of the Russian River, call the recorded beach hotline at (707) 565-6552 or visit DHS’ website: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Environmental-Health/Water-Quality/Fresh-Water-Quality/


Contact Information

Communications Manager
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Health Services Administration
3313 Chanate Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.46875, -122.708432