wave.jpgVisits to polluted beaches give you illnesses like stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory disease, and skin rashes, says Heal The Bay, a California water quality advocacy group says.

For 20 years now, they’ve been releasing their “Beach Report Card” survey, that tells you what your chances are of catching a bug on the beach — and in this year’s report, by and large, SF did OK. Not perfect, but OK.

Heal the Bay studies weekly bacterial pollution and gives beaches a grade of A through F based on comprehensive evaluations done on daily and weekly samples taken from coastal waters. According to the report, every beach in SF got either an A or a B except for F-graded nudist hotspot Baker Beach where, the Chronicle reports, “raw sewage leaking from old pipes and overflowing storm drains flows into Lobos Creek and forms a pool at the south end of the beach.”

Read Heal The Bay‘s full report here, their Executive Summary here, or just the SF portion of the report here.

The Bay Citizen notes that the water is mostly healthy at Baker Beach, and says it’s just that southern area near the Creek that’s nasty.

The sewage-strewn area is apparently also “a popular play area for children because of the notoriously treacherous waves at Baker Beach.” Yeah, that means the kids are playing in poop. Neat.

The clothesless side of the beach is the north one, however, so if you go Baker you’ll have to pick your battle — naked folks, or shit?

Bay City News contributed to this report

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Dain Fitzgerald

    “…naked folks, or shit?”

    Now now, the situation is probably not so black (or rather, brown) and white, either/or.

  • Alex Zepeda

    Clearly it’s impossible for children to be the source of the contamination. Oh, for heaven’s sake! Won’t someone think of the poor suffering children!