Elevated bacteria levels found in ocean by Santa Monica, Will Rogers, Malibu, Marina Del Rey

Health officials have issued another advisory after elevated bacteria levels were found in the water near several Southern California beaches.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's water warning advised beachgoers to be careful of swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.

Specifically, elevated bacteria levels were discovered at:

  • Bel Air Bay Club at Will Rogers State Beach
  • Mothers Beach in Marina Del Rey
  • Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica
  • Malibu Lagoon at Surfrider Beach

A previous warning was issued for Avalon Beach at Catalina Island (50 feet east of the pier), but a recent sample showed that the water quality was back within state standards.

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Health officials have issued several beach advisories since the massive 17 million gallon sewage spill on July 11, but said that no sewage is currently being discharged from the Hyperion plant into the ocean and ocean waters, adding that bacterial levels often fluctuate from day to day.


Roughly 17 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the ocean on July 11, forcing health officials to close several beaches in the area for multiple days. It took health officials more than 24 hours to notify the public of the sewage spill, which County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer called, "multiple failure on top of multiple failure."

A report detailing the sewage spill blamed the county health department for failing to notify the public more quickly.

"There's no excuse for this," Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors and the public Tuesday.

The beaches ultimately reopened on July 14 after the health department reported that bacteria levels in the water were back to normal.

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