The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is the Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer water quality monitoring program that provides critical information to protect public health at our beaches. Our 2022 annual report summarize yearly water quality data collected on O'ahu.
The goal of BWTF is to fill in monitoring gaps and quickly communicate with the public where it is safe to swim and where bacteria levels are elevated. Water quality results are compared to the standards used by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (HDOH) to make beach closure decisions. Known as the Beach Action Value (BAV), this threshold is set at 130 colony forming units of Enterococcus per 100mL sample (130 CFU/100mL).
In 2022, trained BWTF volunteers sampled 24 sites. During this time period, 495 samples were collected, generating water quality information for recreational waters along the islandʻs North, South, East, and West shores. Samples are processed at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's Kewalo Marine Laboratory.
Five new sites were added in 2022, notably three sites on West Oʻahu (Kaupuni Stream and two sites at Pōkaʻī Bay).
Our BWTF team maintains a regular two week interval between sampling and will sample both after rain events and during Brown Water Advisories (barring dangerous conditions). This ensures that the BWTF data set captures water quality information during both wet and dry conditions. This data allows us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of water quality conditions on Oʻahu.