January 22, 2010

Storms Breed Bacteria Levels More Than Double what EPA Considers Safe in the Santa Monica Bay

As heavy rain falls this week in Los Angeles, we hit the beach to see how the rain is affecting water quality in the Santa Monica Bay. Our results were shocking, with bacteria levels more than double what the EPA considers safe. Here are the numbers:
  • 223 Santa Monica Pier*
  • 331 Bay Street*
  • 120 Where the Pico-Kenter storm drain meets the ocean (average)*
  • 7,915 Runoff in the Pico Kenter storm drain (from the streets of LA)*
  • 104 The maximum bacteria EPA allows before the water is deemed unsafe*
  • *enterococcus (a fecal bacteria whose presence suggests that other harmful bacteria and viruses are also present), measured by organisms per milliliter
As you can see, bacteria levels in the runoff were more than 75 times higher than what the EPA considers safe.

We don't care what kind of a swell this storm brings, you should not be surfing or swimming in this water! In fact, you should stay out of the water 72 hours after it rains any time in LA, because this is when the water carries high levels of
trash, cigarette butts, heavy metals, and disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

1 comment:

  1. how awful is that? 75 times higher??? are you freakin' joking? i knew it was bad, but...wow. thanks for this important work you are doing. i will pass the word with blog and twitter too.