Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


So Gross: Avalon's Sewage System Leaks 'Human Waste' Onto Its Beaches

Photo by Derek Cross Photography via the LAist Featured Photos pool
Our June member drive is live: protect this resource!
Right now, we need your help during our short June member drive to keep the local news you read here every day going. This has been a challenging year, but with your help, we can get one step closer to closing our budget gap. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership.

If you're heading 26 miles to Santa Catalina any time soon, you might want to stay out of the water near Avalon.

The Los Angeles Times has a story about the effort to clean up the "deceptively clear" but "chronically polluted" beaches of Avalon. The culprit? Ailing infrastructure that's leaking human waste:

Avalon's main beach, which beckons to those who stroll along the city pier and the promenade of gift shops, restaurants and hotels, routinely fails state-mandated health tests and has ranked among the dirtiest in California for most of the last decade. Scientists years ago identified the cause of Avalon's water woes: human waste leaking from the city's century-old sewer system. The sewage seeps into the groundwater and drains into the town's enclosed bay, putting swimmers at risk of contracting serious stomach illness, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, rashes and infections.

Some of the locals swear the water is fine and that they never get sick. But the city approved a $6 million project that hopes to fix and update those sewer lines—and hopefully finish it by the time mainlanders head over to the island for summer vacation.
Most Read