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Bacteria Levels, Inshore Holes Pose Beach Hazards

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

February 4, 2022 -- With sunny skies on the horizon and temperatures slowly climbing, Santa Monica beachgoers are being advised to watch for the waters, specially around the Pier.

An advisory in effect Friday warning of high bacteria levels covers the water 100 yards north and south of the pier, especially the area around the Pico-Kenter storm drain, County officials said.

"The warning has been issued due to bacterial levels exceeding health standards when last tested," public health officials said.

The high bacteria levels pose a danger to swimmers, surfers and those playing in the ocean, health officials said.

In addition to the poor water quality, LA County Lifeguards are warning swimmers to avoid "inshore holes" that form as the tide rises.

The holes appear friendly and calm until the tide rises and they turn treacherous and too deep for swimmers and bathers to touch bottom.

Bathers should watch out for holes that become "a collection point for all of the water coming onshore via breaking waves" then moving back to sea, where rip currents can form, lifeguard officials said.

While the holes are easy to identify when the tide is low, they become more difficult to pinpoint when the tide is high, officials said.

"Inshore holes are one of the leading causes of ocean rescues in Los Angeles County especially in the winter and spring time when the ocean floor becomes uneven due to larger surf," officials said.

"These hazards exist close to shore (hence their name) meaning they are dangerous for all beachgoers, especially children."

the water around the Pier has traditionally registered high levels of bacteria year-round due to natural factors including bird debris that has landed it nearly a dozen times on Heal the Bay's notorious Beach Bummers list over the past two decades.

Last year, the environmental group gave it F grades during winter wet and dry weather, which covered the period from November through March 2021.

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