News Release
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313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806  •  Los Angeles, CA 90012   •  (213) 240-8144  •  •

For Immediate Release:

August 25, 2021

Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant Reports Release of Acidic Treated Wastewater into the Ocean; Unrelated to Bacterial Levels at Cabrillo Beach

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday at 12:53pm, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) received a report from the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) that approximately 400,000 gallons of acidic treated wastewater had been released into the 1-mile outflow due to a maintenance flush at the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant in San Pedro, near the breakwater and the Los Angeles Lighthouse.

Yesterday’s release affected pH levels near the site of the incident, but due to the distance of the outflow and ocean currents, water pH levels were within the acceptable pH range of 6.5-8.5 at Cabrillo State Beach. It should be noted that this release of treated wastewater did not cause yesterday’s Public Health Ocean Water Use Warning notification for Inner Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, which has had bacteria levels that exceeded State standards for the past five days.

Public Health tested the ocean waters in the surrounding areas and concluded that pH levels were normal. Beachgoers are still advised to stay out of the water under current Warning notification until testing by Public Health indicates bacterial levels have returned to within State standards.

“Public Health is committed to ensuring beach goers and communities are informed about water quality levels, and while this incident did not cause water quality to exceed acceptable levels, Public Health will continue warning beach goers when water quality levels exceed health standards,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer.

“In our collective effort to inform and educate the public,” said Barbara Romero, Executive Director of LASAN, which runs the Terminal Island plant. “We are joining the Department of Public Health in making this announcement. There is no cause for alarm – at no time did this incident pose a threat to the public nor impact the existing bacterial level at the beach.”

Recorded information on beach conditions is available 24- hours a day on the County's beach closure hotline: 1-800- 525-5662. Information is also available online at our website:

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea , and follow LA County Public Health on social media at, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at ublichealth, m/lapublichealth, instagra and lapublichealth.