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Climate and Environment

No Massive Sewage Spill, But Some LA County Beaches Are Under Warnings For High Bacteria Levels

A person rides a bicycle on an oceanside boardwalk with a light blue lifeguard station in the distance behind a wooden picket fence blocking passage to the sand.
Dockweiler State Beach was closed for a fews days in mid-July due to a sewage spill.
(FREDERIC J. BROWN
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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You’ll remember that about two weeks ago, a massive raw sewage spill from the Hyperion Treatment Plant closed beaches from Dockweiler to El Segundo.

This week, ocean water samples collected from the area showed elevated bacteria levels again. But health officials say it’s unlikely that the spill is to blame this time around.

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So, what gives?

The short answer is: There’s always a lot of, shall we say — stuff — in the ocean. Bacteria levels can fluctuate from day to day.

For the most part, it’s nothing to worry about — especially during periods when we don’t get a lot of rain. Which is, well, right now.

In any event, although warnings are in place, El Segundo Beach and Dockweiler State Beach are open. If you’re going in the water, be sure to rinse off as soon as possible. And try to stay away from those drain pipes.

One bit of good news, on Thursday health officials lifted warnings issued earlier for the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach at North Tower 8 and North Tower 12, both located near storm drains, as well as the Temescal Canyon storm drain at Will Rogers State Beach.

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You can check out conditions at the beaches via the L.A. County map below:

  • Green markers indicate water meets state standards
  • Yellow (which the beaches referenced here are under) means bacteria levels are higher than state standards and could cause illness
  • Red means the beach is closed due to sewage or other health hazards
  • White indicates no current assessment
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