San Francisco Bay Beaches Bacteria



To protect public health, beaches located on San Francisco Bay are monitored for “fecal indicator bacteria.” High fecal indicator bacteria levels indicate the presence of pathogenic organisms that are found in warm-blooded animal (e.g., human) waste. These pathogens can pose health risks to people who recreate in contaminated waters.

The beaches identified on the map are on the Clean Water Act 303(d) list of impaired water bodies because fecal indicator bacteria levels at these beaches exceed water quality standards. Bacteria TMDLs address this impairment at these specific beaches.

San Francisco Bay Beaches Bacteria TMDL, approved December 13, 2016, addresses bacteria impairment at the following beaches:

  • Aquatic Park Beach, City of San Francisco
  • Candlestick Point Beaches, City of San Francisco
  • Crissy Field Beach, City of San Francisco
  • 2 Marina Lagoon Beaches in City of San Mateo: Parkside Aquatic Park and Lakeshore Park

San Mateo County Bay Beaches TMDL, in development, will address bacteria impairment at these two beaches.



S F Bay Beaches Bacteria TMDL

Electronic vresions of the following documents are available upon request. However, in accordance with Section 11546.7 of the California Government Code, electronic versions cannot be posted online as they do not meet specified accessibility standards. For an electronic copy of the order, please contact the staff person listed at the bottom of this web page.

Approval Process

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the amendment on February 24, 2017
  • The California Office of Administrative Law approved the amendment on December 13, 2016
  • The State Water Quality Control Board adopted the resolution approving the TMDL at its August 16, 2016 meeting:
  • The TMDL is set forth in this Basin Plan amendment
  • The TMDL was adopted by the Water Board in Resolution No. R2-2016-0021
  • Supporting documentation is contained in the Final Staff Report
  • Public comments and Peer Review comments submitted prior to the Water Board hearing
  • Staff responses to comments
  • April 13, 2016 Water Board Meeting Transcript, Item 9 (adoption of the TMDL)

TMDL Implementation Meeting Materials

  • San Francisco Sewer Inspection Methodology Presentation, Oct. 13, 2016
  • City of San Mateo Sewer Inspection Methodology Presentation, Oct. 13, 2016
  • SF Bay Beaches Bacteria TMDL Data Evaluation Group Meeting Notes, Feb. 20, 2018
  • New California Water Contact Recreation Objectives for Bacteria Presentation, Feb 20, 2018


Green Infrastructure in Parks: A Guide to Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement. June 2017. This EPA publication is intended to encourage partnerships between parks and stormwater agencies aimed at promoting the use of green infrastructure (also referred to as stormwater best management practices) on park lands. It may be useful when developing enhanced stormwater BMPs.

"California Microbial Source Identification Manual: A Tiered Approach to Identifying Fecal Pollution Sources to Beaches,” Dec. 2013. This Manual was completed as part of a Proposition 84 Clean Beaches Initiative (CBI) grant to develop a standard source identification protocol to identify fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) sources contributing to chronically polluted beaches. The Manual is an important resource for source identification studies using CBI funds, in order that appropriate implementation projects are proposed to address the pollution sources.

Pathogens in Urban Stormwater Systems, August 2014. This thorough report, prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers, is intended to serve as a technical resource for local governments working to address elevated FIB in urban areas.

Tools for Tracking Human Fecal Pollution in Urban Storm Drains, Creeks, and Beaches, Sept. 2012. This report documents actions taken and methods used to eliminate fecal indicator bacteria at beaches in Santa Barbara. It includes guidance on strategies and a matrix of tools suggesting where the tools are most appropriate.

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Visit our subscriptions page to sign up for our mailing list. Look for the section entitled "Current Basin Planning/TMDL Projects" and check the box for "Pathogens in San Francisco Bay Beaches". You can sign up for other lists at the same time if you wish.

For more information contact:
Xavier Fernandez
Planning & TMDL Division Chief