Water-Quality Testing At California Beaches Down; Public Health At Risk?
Flickr via irene
Health officials have reduced bacteria testing at California beaches, a move that has resulted in fewer closures, but one that could also be putting more beach-goers at greater risk when it comes to contaminated water, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The number of annual tests has dropped by almost half since 2005, according to a Times study of state records. Contaminated ocean water could cause swimmers to experience eye and ear infections, skin rashes and stomach ailments.
"Water quality absolutely has gotten better during the summer months," said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay, a nonprofit group that issues an annual "report card" on state beaches. "But the reality is that less frequent monitoring means there's a much greater chance of someone swimming or surfing in polluted water unknowingly."
San Onofre state beach in San Diego County was only tested four times last year versus 75 times in 2005, according to the paper.
Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Verified Resale Tickets
TicketsFri., Feb. 24, 7:30pm
CSUN Womens Basketball vs. Uc Riverside Highlanders Womens Basketball
TicketsSat., Feb. 25, 4:00pm
Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs - Verified Resale Tickets
TicketsSun., Feb. 26, 12:30pm
Los Angeles Clippers v Charlotte Hornets - Verified Resale Tickets
TicketsSun., Feb. 26, 6:30pm
A 1999 state law requires weekly testing of beaches only if funds are available: Testing at 39 Orange County beaches was put on hiatus for five months last winter as a result of the state's budget woes, according to the Times.
However, some agencies claimed that the frequency of the tests remains at acceptable levels.
"We continue to do the tests weekly, and we're not doing less sampling because we don't have money," said Alfonso Medina, director of Los Angeles County's Environmental Protection Bureau.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.