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Los Angeles and Its Dirty Water

Updated on April 8, 2013
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
Malibu Beach
Malibu Beach

Los Angeles has a problem, a serious problem. The LA area is dry, it does not receive a lot of rain and much of its water supply is imported hundreds of miles via aquaducts from northern California. So, when it does rain in the LA hills, the runoff is of a dangerous composition that enters the ocean. You will not see many people in the water on a rainy day around the Venice Pier. Those that venture out will get pink eye, maybe a fever or a case of diarrhea. The locals know better to stay away from the shoreline along their nice beaches because of the runoff pollution-cans, bottles, car oil. Traces of heavy metals, pesticides, animal waste, all are in the runoff and storm drains and enter the ocean making it murky and smelly.

The rain makes the beaches the filthiest in the state. LA county is famous for having 10 of the most polluted beaches in California. The infamous Malibu beach, home to many movie stars and others, is among four others for this award but one would never know it. A 2008 study showed that your odds of getting ill after visiting a Los Angeles beach is high because of high bacteria counts and toxicity. Consider that 1.8 million visit these beaches per year in LA county. It amounts to a lot of sickness. Many beaches become closed because of the problem.

LA regional water has the power to fine heavily the polluters, but often does not. Only a few cities have been fined for the pollution. Now, to deal with the runoff water problem, the county is considering making it drinkable after the elements are removed. This has appeal because of the expense LA has to import its water, but to do so, they would have to raise the taxes.

LA does have many of the best looking beaches in California,but beauty is often only skin deep.


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