Real-Time Beach Watch Advisories
The Galveston County Health District, in conjunction with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), monitors recreational coastal waters for elevated levels of the bacterial indicator enterococcus. A beach water advisory is issued for the beach adjacent to testing site when water quality standards for the bacteria are exceeded. The Galveston County Beach Watch program samples at 52 monitoring stations along Galveston Island, the Bolivar Peninsula and one site on the Texas City Dike.
Samples are taken from the 52 sites on a weekly basis and tested for enterococcus. An increased level is a common occurrence that lasts approximately 24 hours after heavy rainfalls and flooding. An advisory is issued informing the public that swimming is not recommended when the bacteria level is elevated. Advisories are indicated with a sign on the affected beach, on this website and the Texas Beach Watch website. When an advisory is issued, the affected beach is NOT closed. An advisory is simply issued to inform the public of the elevated bacteria level so people can make an informed choice about swimming in the affected waters. Once elevated bacteria levels are detected, water samples are taken daily until the levels return to normal.
Texas Beach Watch advisories are NOT related to Vibrio vulnificus flesh-eating bacteria. The bacteria is naturally present in salt and brackish water around the world. Infections from Vibrio vulnificus are rare and typically affect people with pre-existing health conditions who had open cuts or sores when they came into contact with the bacteria.
The map above shows beach watch advisories in real-time. Refresh your browser for the most current update.