4 Los Angeles County beaches remain under high bacteria warning in 2017
Los Angeles County has issued one of the biggest beach advisories this year on bacteria-infected and fecal-laden waters.
And yet, the warnings have extended well beyond the beaches, to other open-air areas in the county, where bacteria levels aren’t monitored as closely.
The county’s most recent bacterial alert warns bacteria levels in open-air areas like PCH, the MacArthur Park area, the Rose Garden and in the Santa Monica Mountains are “extremely high” and “present a moderate to high risk to the public.”
PCH officials say their data shows bacteria levels on its beachfront are a good deal lower than the beaches the state Department of Public Health has tested. But the state says that bacteria levels in open-air areas of Los Angeles County are often hundreds of times greater than the bacteria levels in the ocean.
The bacteria that’s causing what the state has deemed the “moderate to high” risk — not to mention the thousands of acres of open beaches in the county — include E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria.
And while Los Angeles County officials say the risks posed by bacteria-laden waters are real, they say they’re not doing anything different than what other counties and other cities are planning to do.
“We have not changed the state’s recommendations or recommended protocols; they remain the same,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich in a statement. “We simply have implemented additional preventive measures on our beaches to complement the state’s efforts. We are committed to providing a safe and clean bathing experience for our county residents, and will continue to monitor our beaches to ensure that we take the appropriate steps to protect both our citizens and the environment.”
The state Department of Public Health recommends that if a beach is within 5 miles of an open water body, the beach should take action to test bacteria levels every 48 hours during the peak of the warm-weather season and every