Ocean Monitoring - Beaches
The Recreational Waters Program routinely collects ocean water samples
every Monday at 40 sampling sites extending from the Ventura/Los Angeles
County border to
south of the Redondo Beach pier. In addition, five samples are collected at Avalon Beach
on Catalina from April through October. Samples are collected in the surf zone and
analyzed by the
Department of Public Health laboratory for total coliform, E. coli and enterococcus bacteria.
We also monitor and review ocean water monitoring results from the Los
Angeles City, Bureau of Sanitation, Hyperion treatment plant and the Los Angeles County
Sanitation District. The Hyperion
treatment plant's laboratory makes available to our
program, daily bacteriological data for 10 shore stations and weekly
bacteriological data for 34 shore stations. The Los Angeles County Sanitation District makes available,
weekly bacteriological data for 8 shore stations. Water is analyzed for
total coliform, fecal coliform, and enterococcus bacteria.
Beaches are posted with warning signs when bacteria levels exceed
State ocean water quality standards. Beaches remain posted with warning signs until tests
indicate that bacteria levels meet State standards.
Beaches are closed when a suspected or real sewage discharge to
ocean waters occurs or elevated bacteriological levels can be linked to a known sewage
discharge. Samples are collected from the affected areas and the beaches are kept closed
until sampling data indicates that bacteria levels meet State standards.
A rain advisory is issued anytime there is significant rainfall that
may cause bacterial levels to exceed State standards in ocean waters. The advisory stays
in effect for 72 hours after rainfall has ended.
We investigate complaints of beach
sanitation, illegal discharges, sewage spills and areas of high chronic bacteria levels.
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