Department of Health Advises Public to Stay Away From CA Beaches Due to Dangerous Water Quality

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Last updated: Apr 30, 2024

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department has issued a new advisory for water quality.

Due to poor water quality all bodily contact is inadvisable for the foreseeable future.

Many Locations Affected by Advisory

The beaches that have been affected by the water warning are Rogers State Beach, Puerco Beach, and San Pedro.

A wide view of a beach filled with people and umbrellas with the houses and mountains in the background

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For these areas, the entire beaches have the advisory in effect and residents are warned to stay out of the water.

High Levels of Bacteria Causing Issues

The water quality has deteriorated drastically in many of the beaches around L.A. High levels of bacteria in the water have accumulated around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.

A rusted storm drain surrounded by light concrete

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The Department of Public Health has warned residents and tourists to stay away from the infected waters.

Regular Testing To Find the Levels

The department regularly tests the water in Los Angeles county for this exact reason.

A person wearing a blue glove holds a beaker with water in it surrounded by large testing machines

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When water becomes contaminated, it’s imperative that people stay away. If not, a public health crisis could occur.

Rainfall Can Mitigate the Situation

Officials have requested that residents stay away from the water for three days after a period of heavy rain in order to wash away the bad bacteria.

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Due to current rainfall in the area, the bacteria could also centralize in storm drains and runoff areas. The suggested wait time of three days is put in place to keep the public safe.

Illness Could Ensue

If anyone comes into contact with the water, they could become very ill due to the bacteria.

A low river running through a concrete dyke surrounded by electricity towers

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The specific symptoms for this type of water bacteria have not been recorded yet. Officials are urging the public to take the warning seriously.


Beaches Remain Open for Now

For the time being, the beaches in Los Angeles will remain open to the public.

A large sandy beach with three people walking in the background

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Due to the size of most beaches in this area, it would be impossible to completely shut down the shores.


Types of Bacteria Commonly Found in Water

There are a number of types of deadly bacteria that can be found in large bodies of water, such as toxic algae blooms that occur in extremely warm weather.

A lonely bird sits on the shore of a muddy river

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In this instance, the bacteria has come from high levels of rain in the area. Rain washes away garbage and debris in the area, adding bad bacteria to run off water. As well, it is speculated that the water contains a type of bacteria called fish kill, which occurs when too many dead fish populate the water.


Water Pollution Is a Big Issue for L.A County

In 2016, the city experienced a similar water crisis. Run off from storms and rain can add bad bacteria to the water and cause illnesses in the public.

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During this time, the bacteria was speculated to be caused by the water washing through homeless encampments and washing away drugs, feces, and contaminated needles.


Possible Symptoms To Look Out For

A group of ecological scientists have warned that getting into contaminated water can cause ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and gastrointestinal illnesses.

A body of water with a pink bucket floating on the surface

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Although these illnesses are not necessarily deadly to most people, they should be taken seriously and avoided at all costs.


Poor Water Quality in L.A

Los Angeles county is not known for having some of the best drinking water in the world. In fact, many people stay away from the tap water all together.

A child wearing an orange toque drinking out of a glass of water

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Part of the issue comes from the amount of factories and manufacturing plants in the area. These factories often illegally dump chemicals that make their way directly to drinking water sources.


When Water Is Safe, It Doesn’t Taste Good

Another complaint that many Los Angelenos have is that the tap water tastes terrible, even when city officials say that it’s safe to drink.

A man pours water from a tap into a glass of water inside the sink

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Part of the poor taste comes from the large amount of chlorine added to water to kill off any remaining particles or bacteria.