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Health Officials Reinstate Advisory for Pier Area

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

August 18, 2021 -- Five days after LA County officials lifted a health advisory, bacteria levels in the water around the Santa Monica Pier are once again exceeding state standards.

The advisory reinstated Wednesday covers the water 100 yards north and south of the pier -- especially the area around the Pico-Kenter storm drain.

The bacteria levels once again pose a danger to swimmers, surfers and those playing in the ocean, health officials said.

The health advisory had been lifted Friday as polluted wastewater discharged from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant fell to a two-week low in the wake of a catastrophic spill at the Hyperion Plant that sent 17 million gallons of raw sewage into Santa Monica Bay on July 11 and 12.

When alerts were issued for the pier area on July 29, County health officials said the high levels of bacteria were “very likely” the result of day-to-day fluctuations, with “no reason to suspect” the sewage discharge was responsible.

On Tuesday, representatives of the plant told the El Segundo City Council that they are still determining the causes of the spill, the Daily Breeze reported Wednesday.

According to the report, LA Sanitation & Environment officials said the agency is "examining flow-gauge data and has pinpointed more than 200 maintenance holes where there 'could have been problems.'"

The agency is working on a detailed report it is required to prepare for the Los Angeles City Council that is due in three months, officials said.

According to the Breeze, the appearance of the sanitation officials before the Council comes after "several law firms have begun filing damage claims on behalf of the city’s residents."

The claims allege the lingering smell from the spill "is causing headaches and nausea and interfering with 'the comfortable use and enjoyment of life or property," the Breeze reported.

According to the claims, LA Sanitation "negligently violated California law by failing to notify the public about the raw sewage for 18 hours and by releasing hydrogen sulfide and other noxious gases into the air, exposing uninformed beachgoers to 'unknown chemicals, bacteria and viruses,” the Breeze reported

One of the firms that filed a claim for damages earlier this month is Parris Law, one of the firms representing the Latino plaintiffs in the voting rights lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica.

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