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Health Advisory Issued for Water Near Pier
 

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

August 5, 2021 -- Swimmers and surfers should stay out of the water near the Santa Monica Pier after Los Angeles County Health officials detected high levels of bacteria from the massive Hyperion sewage spill.

The health advisory comes after Los Angeles County Health officials last Friday lifted water quality warnings for the pier area, as well as the beach areas around the storm drains at Montana Avenue and at Wilshire Boulevard.

The latest advisory comes as the crippled Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant continues spilling partially treated wastewater into the ocean, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

The report published Friday prompted U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) to call for an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and NOAA Administrator Richard W. Spinard, the Congressman whose district includes Santa Monica wrote:

"Given the severity of recent incidents, the subsequent and continued discharge of untreated and partially treated wastewater near highly trafficked beaches, and the lack of clear communication by the city of Los Angeles, an investigation into the facility's operations, response, and environmental impact is warranted."

Lieu said the City of Los Angeles -- whose Sanitation Department operates the plant -- may have violated a law he authored in 2007 to improve reporting when a sewage spill takes place.

"As the city of Los Angeles discharged this wastewater and facility operators attempted repairs, key local first responders and nearby cities were not immediately informed of the discharge in the nearby ocean," he wrote.

According to a report prepared by a private contractor for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the County Health Department was in large part to blame for failing to notify the public more quickly about the spill.

The discharge at the plant located in Playa del Rey began Sunday evening, July 11, and lasted until 4:30 a.m. Monday, sending 17 million gallons of raw sewage into Santa Monica Bay.

According to officials, the emergency discharge was the largest in decades at the plant, which began operating in the 1920s.

Recorded information on beach conditions is available 24- hours a day on the County’s beach closure hotline: 1-800- 525-5662. Information is also available online at Public Health’s websiteat PublicHealth.LACounty.gov/Beach/.


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