L.A. beach closed after needles, personal care products wash ashore
- Los Angeles County health officials closed Dockweiler State Beach after waste washed ashore and excessive levels of bacteria were found in the water. Hypodermic needles, condoms, and tampon applicators were among the waste in the sand along the four miles of beach. People were also advised to avoid the water at Mothers Beach in Marina del Rey and Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades.
- Heal the Bay said the waste might have come from a pipeline that belongs to the city's Hyperion Treatment Plant, which is designed to capture solid waste. The pipelines are supposed to discharge treated wastewater. Scientist James Alamillo with Heal the Bay said recent heavy rains could have caused overflows, allowing solid matter to escape the system.
- Los Angeles Sanitation spokeswoman Tonya Durrell told City News Service a pipeline is being repaired. Though it would normally discharge treated wastewater five miles offshore, some waste was diverted and discharged a mile from shore.
Dockweiler will likely stay closed, the Associated Press reported, until two consecutive bacteria samples come back clean.
This particular problem is affecting three beaches, but debris in the ocean affects everyone. Animals get caught in marine debris, and some eat the waste, which can cause death. Additionally, some chemicals can potentially cause cancer in humans who eat marine animals.
Beach cleanups are helpful in keeping trash out of waterways, however last weekend's beach cleanup Los Angeles County wasn't able to prevent this mess. 10,000 volunteers collected 21,310 pounds of trash at more than 50 Los Angeles County sites between Malibu and Compton during the 26th annual beach cleanup. Heal the Bay spokesman Matthew King told the Los Angeles Times that coastal cleanups over the last two decades have collected more than one million pounds of trash in the region.
- The Orange County Register Los Angeles beach closed after waste washes ashore