Santa Monica is still being warned about bacteria, health officials say

SANTA MONICA, CA – Officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Tuesday extended a water usage warning for swimmers and surfers near Santa Monica Pier because of the 17 million gallons of sewage spilled in Santa Monica Bay last month.

“The Los Angeles County Health Department is warning residents planning to visit Los Angeles County’s Beaches against continuing to swim, surf and play in the ocean to empty gullies, creeks and rivers,” the department said in a statement.

Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica is the only remaining beach on the warning list, after July 11, for days before people swim in the Pacific Ocean near Malibu, San Pedro, Catalina, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades and the El Segundo and Dockweiler Beach.

Rep. Ted Lieu, who represents communities affected by the oil spill, last week called for an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Given the severity of recent incidents, the subsequent and continued discharge of untreated and partially purified wastewater near high-traffic beaches, and the lack of clear communication from the City of Los Angeles, an investigation into the operation, response and environmental impact of the facility is warranted “Justified,” wrote Lieu, D-Torrance, in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and NOAA Administrator Richard W. Spinard.

“When the City of Los Angeles drained this sewage and the facility operators tried to make repairs, key local first responders and nearby cities were not immediately notified of the discharge into the nearby ocean,” he said, adding that it may be against California law from 2007 created in order to improve the reporting of wastewater leakage.

Visit the county website to learn more about beach conditions or call 1-800-525-5662.

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