Ocean Monitoring Program



The treated wastewater from our two treatment plants is released over four miles out into the ocean at a depth of two hundred feet below the surface of the water. To ensure that the marine environment and public health are protected, the Orange County Sanitation District has maintained an extensive ocean monitoring program for over 25 years.

The results of this testing is gathered together each year in an annual report. The report is provided to regulators, the scientific community and the public through a published report, on the district website and through a series of public workshops.These reports are available here.

The ocean monitoring program is overseen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX and the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region.

Surf zone samples are collected in ankle deep water at seventeen stations along the shoreline including Newport Beach and Huntington Beach to access water quality. These samples are analyzed for three indicator bacteria that the Orange County Health Care Agency uses to determine the presence of harmful pathogens and the safety of beach recreation.

Surfzone sampling is conducted every week by OCSD staff and results are transmitted to Orange County Health officials who determine the potential public health risks.  These results can be found on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website.


Learn more with Time Warner's stories on our ocean monitoring program. 


 Ocean Defenders

Sea Explorers