Bacteria warning in effect for Santa Monica, other LA beaches

SANTA MONICA, CA – Bacteria levels exceed state standards on several Los Angeles County beaches, including Santa Monica State Beach, public health officials said Thursday.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health warned people who swim, surf, and play in the ocean to drain storm sewers, streams, and rivers.

The following beaches are under warning as of Thursday:

  • Malibu Lagoon on Surfrider Beach.
  • Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica.
  • Mother Beach in Marina Del Rey.
  • Avalon Beach on Catalina Island, 15 meters west of the pier.

Public health officials issued daily warnings about water quality after 17 million gallons of Pacific Ocean wastewater leaked from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa Vista last month. Several Los Angeles beaches were warned in the days following the spill, including Malibu, San Pedro, Catalina, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, and the El Segundo and Dockweiler Beach areas.

Along with the bacteria warning, the spill has reduced the area’s water recyclability and forced officials to divert clean drinking water during drought and pandemic, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Local leaders have started calling for answers. Rep. Ted Lieu has requested an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“I call on the EPA and NOAA to investigate the massive and ongoing sewage discharge from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant into the ocean,” announced Lieu on Facebook last week. “This facility is critical to LA County’s wastewater treatment and its continued problematic operation requires federal action.”

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