Poche Clean Beach Project

The Poche Clean Beach Project (CBP) is located at the intersection of Camino Capistrano and Pacific Coast Highway on the border of Dana Point and San Clemente. Poche CBP is an advanced water treatment facility which treats dry weather urban surface water runoff from a 4,450 acre residential area within the cities of San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Dana Point. The urban runoff from this residential area flows into Prima Deshecha Canada channel [(M01) one of the San Clemente Coastal Watershed streams] and finally discharges into the Pacific Ocean at Poche Beach. Poche Beach has had water quality issues for some time particularly with bacteria levels leading to frequent public health warning postings during the summer months. The facility operates when runoff water flows are low and pollution concentrations are higher.

The Poche CBP water treatment process includes water filtration and ultraviolet light disinfection to dramatically reduce bacteria in the water taken from Prima Deshecha Canada channel. The goal is to improve water quality in the surf zone for water contact recreational use at Poche Beach; thereby reducing the number of public health advisory postings along the beach. 

In 2013 the Poche CBP facility provided consistent and excellent reduction of bacteria in the urban runoff treated. This treatment, combined with the implementation of the falconry program, has improved surf zone water quality. The number of health warning postings and Beach Mile Days has dropped significantly, with Poche Beach remaining off the posted ocean warning list since August 25, 2013.

Bacteria removal efficiencies for the facility are excellent (see Sample Monitoring results of CBP treatment facility influent and effluent below):

Wet Season Activities:

Water quality improvement efforts continue as some types of bacteria levels in the Beach Pond and Pond Outlet periodically exceed the established goals (see table below). The suspected cause appears to be the result of a large shorebird presence at Poche Beach. Multiple corrective measures are continuing while the facility is idled during the winter season including:

  1. A falcon program at the Prima Deshecha Landfill through April 2014,
  2. A coyote decoy program and ultrasonic devices at the beach pond,
  3. Investigating seasonal elimination of the pond.