Santa Monica News
Water Quality At Pier Incredibly Poor
By Nashfa Hawwa
Sep 1, 2013 - 10:37:24 PM

Santa Monica Pier
SANTA MONICA—According to Heal the Bay’s End of Summer Beach Report Card, the water quality at the Santa Monica Pier Beach has dropped to significantly low levels. The water at the pier earned a D grade, according to the report that was released on August 29.


Millions are spent on netting to keep away bird excrement, as well as on a new storm drain, the bacteria levels in the waters of the Santa Monica Pier have risen in the past two years. The bacteria levels in the waters of the Santa Monica Pier have escalated to 68 times more than the permissible levels between April 1 and August 21. Exceeding amounts of bacteria in the water can cause various irritable conditions in humans such as skin rashes, diarrhea and respiratory problems as well.


Despite the beach having earned a D, the results that are upgraded weekly on Heal the Bay website, states that the pier had earned an F grade which indicates that the bacteria levels had exceeded to 73 Total Maximum Daily Loads or TMDL; this numeric limit indicates the maximum amount of a particular pollutant a particular water body can receive and still meet Clean Water Act Standards.


There are many reasons why bacteria levels in water can increase, such as urban runoff from gutters and fecal matter from animals as well as humans.


The city of Santa Monica has a history of using innovative tools and policies in order to combat the issue of urban runoff and fecal matter into the Santa Monica Pier. In 1990, City Hall ordained that all developers collect their water from their properties before it was released.


There is also the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility that was created 12 years ago. An unanimous project was created with the effort of the City Hall as well as other state agencies, that collects and treats 500,000 gallons of runoff each day.


The Santa Monica Pier is a hot spot from tourists and visitors from all over the world. The pier and the beach together garner millions of dollars from tourists, which brings revenue to the city to pay for public services and infrastructure such as trash collection, school programs as well as overall public safety.


Heal the Bay’s End of Summer Beach Report Card (BRC) provides an in-depth report card to beachgoers with “essential water quality information by grading 450 monitoring locations in California.”

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