Water quality was the top priority for volunteers Saturday as they took samples from local waterways for an annual regional water quality exercise.
Snapshot Day, which took place in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties, is designed to test areas that drain to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Seventeen sites were sampled in San Luis Obispo County, with additional samples taken from different sections of one creek or river.
In Atascadero, Atascadero Creek was sampled in two locations and Graves Creek was also monitored. City employees and Boy Scout Ethan Athey, 12, from Troop No. 60 in Paso Robles were among Atascadero’s volunteers.
Various other waterways, including the Salinas River, were also studied in Santa Margarita and Paso Robles. Samples were also taken from waterways near the coast in Morro Bay and San Simeon.
Volunteers tested for pollution, temperature, pH, bacteria and other elements. Results won’t be available for another three to four weeks, officials said Wednesday.
The event is designed to increase public awareness of water quality issues by providing a “snapshot” of regional water quality conditions, organizers said.
In 2010, 202 volunteers monitored 192 sites throughout the Central Coast.
Creek Cleanup Day is Atascadero’s next creek event, planned for Sept. 17, to be held in conjunction with Coastal Cleanup Day. Those interested in helping with this year’s event or Atascadero’s creek adoption program can call 470-3148.