Bacteria levels prompt officials to issue health warning for beaches near Dockweiler, El Segundo

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (CNS) -- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a health alert regarding elevated bacteria levels at several beaches near Dockweiler and El Segundo -- in the area of the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, which spilled 17 million gallons of raw sewage into the ocean on July 11.

But at this time, there was no reason to suspect these increases in beach water bacteria are due to the recent sewage discharge at Hyperion, the health department said.

In an announcement Wednesday night, the health department said ocean water sampling conducted Tuesday determined that several beach areas near the Hyperion plant exceeded state standards for bacteria in water.

The department advised people to be careful of swimming, surfing and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers in the affected areas.

The health department on Wednesday said that no sewage is currently being discharged from the Hyperion plant into the ocean -- but that bacterial levels often fluctuate from day to day and can be impacted by recent rain.

Lifeguards have posted yellow advisory signs.

Report on 17M gallon sewage spill places blame for delayed notification on LA County Public Health
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The failure to more quickly notify the public of a 17-million-gallon sewage spill that ultimately closed beaches from El Segundo to Playa del Rey was largely the fault of a division within the Department of Public Health, according to a report discussed by county officials Tuesday.


Affected beaches are:

-- El Segundo Beach at the Grand Avenue storm drain (Near DockweilerTower 60)

-- Dockweiler State Beach at Ballona Creek (near Dockweiler Tower 40); Culver Blvd storm drain; Hyperion Plant outfall; Imperial Highway storm drain (Dockweiler Tower 56); Westchester storm drain; and World Way extension.

Other beaches also under advisory include:

-- Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica

-- Montana Ave. storm drain at Santa Monica Beach (Santa Monica North Tower 8)

-- Wilshire Boulevard storm drain at Santa Monica Beach (Santa Monica North Tower 12)

-- Temescal Canyon storm drain at Will Rogers State Beach

-- Avalon Beach at Catalina Island (50 feet east of the pier)

These advisories are very likely due to day-to-day fluctuations in ocean water bacteria levels.

Additionally, public health workers have initiated door-to-door outreach to the community impacted by the plant's odors and will continue this activity through Friday.
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