High bacteria levels discovered in Los Angeles County beaches

All Los Angeles County beaches placed under high bacteria warning due to rain

The county beaches will remain open for visitors on Wednesday, May 23, the day before the rainy forecast was expected to be the most intense in the area.

High bacteria levels were discovered Sunday morning in the beaches of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, as well as in the beaches of the San Gabriel, Santa Monica and Burbank city park districts, said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich (D-Pomona).

Supervisor Antonovich, who was interviewed Monday by The Times, said tests showed bacteria levels were “extremely high.” He said the beaches had been under such high bacteria levels since April 24.

“I have not been told yet how bad it is,” he said Monday. “But you’re going to be disappointed when I tell you it’s been high for a long time.”

Antonovich said the beaches had been clean as of April 17. He said the board was preparing for extreme weather for the next three days.

“We’re going to have beachgoers standing out there and having to wade in water that isn’t supposed to be there,” Antonovich said.

The county also is asking for help from the public in its public health response to the high bacteria levels.

“If you live in San Marino, Long Beach or Pasadena, you should stay indoors and avoid getting wet,” Antonovich said.

Antonovich said beachgoers can take preventative measures to protect themselves such as wearing shoes with rubber soles and keeping their skin covered during the rain.

The county health department is notifying the public about high bacteria levels.

The health department urges anyone with possible health concerns to call the health department at (323) 948-7413.

“We are not saying everyone has to get it (high bacteria levels), but if you develop any type of illness, make sure it’s not in the water,” Antonovich said.

“The health department is telling people to stay away from the beaches. I know I’d do that,” Antonovich said Monday.

The health department’s website states, “The bacteria are legionellae. These bacteria are found naturally in seawater and other body liquids.”

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