Huntington Beach sees dramatic drop in water quality
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 June, 2015 - The city that hosts the US Open of Surfing has made Heal the Bay’s list of most polluted beaches. Heal the Bay releases an annual report card each year for beaches on the West Coast. The area of Huntington Beach near the Santa Ana River mouth called Brookhurst street received a “D” grade on the report card.
Heal the Bay analysts assigned A-to-F letter grades to 468 beaches along the California coast for three reporting periods in 2014-2015, based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution. Some 95% of beaches received A or B grades during the summer (April-October 2014). That figure is essentially steady with the last year’s report.
Overall, only 13 of the beaches monitored statewide received D to F grades during summer dry weather, when most beachgoers typically use the ocean. High bacteria counts at these sites are linked to potential illnesses like stomach flu, ear and upper respiratory infections and major skin rashes.
Water samples are analyzed for pollution and include testing for fecal waste. Orange County Coastkeeper told the HB Independent that they have been aware of the problem at Brookhurst street for a long time. However they cannot find one major source for the pollution, like a broken sewer pipe.
The same location received a grade of “A” for summertime water quality last year from Heal the Bay.
In general beaches fared better this year due to the California drought as less rain runoff tends to lead to cleaner beaches.