First Flush

Humboldt Bay First Flush
- Humboldt Bay First Flush Press Release NEW!
- Humboldt Bay First Flush Data
- Humboldt Bay First Flush Report NEW!
- Humboldt Bay First Flush Summary Report NEW!

Russian River First Flush


What is First Flush?

First Flush refers to the first major storm of the season, taking place typically in the Fall, in which accumulated contaminants are washed down the storm drains and carried into waterways. It provides a glimpse into "worst case" conditions for waterways near urban areas because urban runoff accumulated during the dry summer months is "flushed" for the first time. Data collected during First Flush can be particularly useful in understanding the constituents and possible locations of non point source pollution.

Humboldt Bay First Flush

CCWI conducted a First Flush study of Humboldt Bay as a Supplemental Environmental Project for the City of Eureka. 20 volunteers were recruited and trained to monitor 10 sites on Humboldt Bay during the first major storm event of the 2004 season. CCWI partnered with groups in Humboldt County, and is working with interns from Humboldt State University to make this event educational for citizens, and able to provide useful data to decision makers.

Volunteer monitor trainings took place on September 19-20, 2004.

Training at the Eureka Municipal Golf Course. Mike Sandler, CCWI Program Coordinator, tests conductivity from Martin Slough at the Eureka Municipal Golf Course. Nicole Murano, on right, from Redwood Community Action Agency helped organize the trainings, and also conducted First Flush monitoring on 6 sites on Humboldt Bay.

The First Flush storm event took place between 11AM and 4PM on Sunday October 17, 2004. Approximately 15 volunteers mobilized, and went to their sites. They monitored conductivity and stage height. When they saw signs of decreased conductivity (showing rainfall and runoff) or significant increase in stage height, they took 3 rounds of samples, spaced 30 minutes apart. Meanwhile, CCWI staff and interns sampled from storm drains along Waterfront Drive in Eureka. Public works employees from the City of Eureka assisted in removing manhole covers.

Volunteers Jeremy Farque and Tera Prucha at Grotzman Creek in Sunny Brae, filling out data forms. Volunteers Tera, Danny Franks, and Jeremy with their conductivity meter.
Martin Slough at Fairway Dr. in Eureka, upstream of the Golf Course. There was recent grading work, and a new culvert. Martin Slough. (photos by Melissa Hodgson)
Martin Slough. Rip rap (erosion control measures) were not in place in some areas.
Cooper Gulch at 14th Street. (photo by Debra Hallis)

Samples were tested for:

Conductivity, temperature, and pH in the field.
In the lab: Nutrients: nitrate, and phosphate, suspended sediments: Turbidity, TSS
Metals: Cd,Cr,Cu, Pb, Zn
Bacteria: Total Coliform and E. coli using the enzyme-substrate Colilert reagent in Quantitrays.

Site locations:
1. Cooper Gulch and 14th St.
2. Martin Slough/ Fairway/ upstream of Golf Course

Eureka Manhole sites:

3. Waterfront at P St. (T13B)
4. Waterfront at L St. (T13C)
5. Waterfront at C St. (T13E)
6. Commercial (T13F)
7. Truesdale/ Christie (T13N)
8. McCullens Ave. (T13O)

9. Jolly Giant at Samoa (T5C)
10. Grotzman Creek just down stream of Samoa

Map of sites

Kate and Danielle sample from a Eureka storm drain. This one was at Waterfront and P St.
CCWI set up a mobile lab to test turbidity, total coliform, and E. Coli. Volunteers Mashaw McGuiness and Melissa Scott perform turbidity tests.
Jeremy, 100 mL, and the Quantitray sealer (used to test for coliform). We delivered all samples to North Coast Laboratories for analysis of metals, oil & grease, total sustpended solids, phosphate and nitrate. Chain of Custody forms document the sample's location and condition.

Raw Data in Excel Spreadsheets:

Click here for lab and field data in Excel format.
Click here for coliform data.

According to CCWI's Data Permissions Policy, Watershed Groups, Regulatory Agencies, and others interested in the protection of clean water are permitted to use CCWI's 2003 Master Data under the following conditions:

1) All public use of data must be accompanied by the words, "This data was collected by Community Clean Water Institute. For more information, check www.ccwi.org."
2) Data may not be used for the purpose of litigation or lawsuits.

- Humboldt Bay First Flush Report NEW!

- Humboldt Bay First Flush Summary Report NEW!

Map of sites

- Humboldt Bay First Flush Press Release NEW!


Russian River First Flush

This project was conducted by several watershed groups in the Russian River area, including Community Clean Water Institute, Russian RiverKeeper, Sotoyome Resource Conservation District, Atascadero/Green Valley Watershed Group, and others, and with support from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the State of California Clean Water Team. In 2002 and 2003 CCWI was an organizing participant in the Russian River First Flush Projects, providing staffing and equipment and performing laboratory analysis.

2002 Summary Report


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