About 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 advisory is issued informing the public that swimming isnot 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 bacteria, commonly referred to as "flesh eating bacteria." Vibrio bacteria is naturally occurring and frequently present in salt and brackish water. It’s rare for people get an infection from Vibrio bacteria. In fact, out of 6 million visitors to Galveston Island in 2015, fewer than ten cases of Vibrio infection were reported to the Galveston County Health District. Most people recover from Vibrio infection without long-term complications. When Vibrio infection is severe, it’s common the affected person had serious preexisting health conditions and swam in untreated water with open sores or wounds. Learn more about Vibrio bacteria at www.cdc.gov/vibrio.
This web application is intended for general informational purposes only and is provided as a public service for a user's personal use. While the Texas General Land Office will regularly review, update, and expand this application, information may not be complete or may have been modified or changed since the latest update of the application. The enterococcus bacteria levels (fecal bacteria) at sites listed on this website depend upon the season, site conditions, and weather conditions, which change over time and are outside of the control of the General Land Office. The General Land Office does not test for any other bacteria, including the vulnificus bacteria (flesh eating). The timeliness of the information on this website depends on the accessibility of the sites tested for bacteria, weather conditions, and other factors and should not be the sole basis for determining the water quality and safety of the water at Texas recreational beaches.
The General Land Office makes no representations or warranties or conditions of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, either express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability of the information or data depicted on this application. The General Land Office specifically disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for any claims or damages that may result from the use of information or the inaccessibility of the information on this application.