The City of Long Beach continued to receive excellent water quality grades from Heal the Bay, with 93 percent of its beaches receiving “A” and “B” grades in the 2016 Annual Beach Report Card
that was issued today. Long Beach has seen sustained improvements in water quality over the past five years.
“Our water quality continues to benefit from our partnerships, and our investments in technology and infrastructure improvements,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We work very hard to keep our beaches and waterways clean and we’re in a great place as summer season begins.”
Twelve of the 15 beaches sampled received “A” grades from April through October. The State Health and Safety Code, known as AB 411, requires testing of recreational waters during this important time period when the most people go to the beach and enjoy the water. Two beaches received “B” grades, and one received a “C.” Long Beach also received 80 percent “A” and “B” grades, including 11 “A” grades, during the dry winter months.
“I’m extremely pleased that we continue to have great water quality,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal. “Residents and visitors can easily enjoy a beautiful day at the beach right here in Long Beach.”
“The Colorado Lagoon and Alamitos Bay continue to benefit from investments and improvements to water quality, and they received five ‘A’ grades with one ‘B’ grade during dry weather,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price.
Rainy weather remains a challenge for the region as well as the City of Long Beach, with the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers flowing into Long Beach waters. However, this year two beaches in Long Beach – at 55th Place and at 72 Place – received “A” grades during wet weather.
Here are some examples of how the City of Long Beach has used infrastructure improvements, grant funding, regional partnerships and technology to improve water quality in Long Beach:
• A $4.9 million grant from the State Water Resources Control Board Clean Beaches Initiative Grant Program is being used to construct three Low Flow Diversion Systems and two Vortex Separation System devices, both of which divert pollution such as motor oil, dog waste and lawn fertilizer away from waterways. This project is expected to break ground in July 2016 and be completed by October 2016.
• The City of Long Beach’s latest Stormwater Project, “Long Beach Municipal Urban Stormwater Treatment (LB-MUST),” will intercept polluted street water runoff and the first flush of stormwater runoff from rainy weather and prevent the transport of pollution into the Los Angeles River. This runoff water will be diverted to a treatment facility where it will be recycled. Work on the design phase will begin in summer 2016, when a series of meetings are being planned to inform residents and businesses of the project plans and benefits. Construction is tentatively scheduled for January 2018 with a completion target goal of May 2021.
• Long Beach and 15 upriver cities have installed approximately 12,000 trash-capturing devices in regional storm drains that flow to the Los Angeles River and then the Long Beach coastline. This prevents more than 800 tons of trash annually from entering the storm drains and ending up on the City’s beaches
• The Los Angeles County Termino Avenue Storm Drain Project features oil and grease absorbent sponges; retractable catch basin screens to keep trash from entering the storm drain system; and a low-flow diversion system, which routes dry weather urban runoff away from the storm drain system or waterways, and redirect it into the sanitary sewer system, where the contaminated runoff is treated and filters before being discharged into the ocean.
• Improvements at Colorado Lagoon included removing contaminated sediment; cleaning an underground culvert to improve water circulation with Alamitos Bay; installing bioswales to naturally filter out stormwater contaminants; and installing trash traps and a low-flow diversion system to divert some of the most heavily contaminated stormwater into the sewage system. The restoration is continuing with recently approved plans for creating new subtidal and intertidal habitat, planting eelgrass, and revegetating the site.
For current information on water quality in Long Beach, visit https://bitly.com/LBWaterQuality
. The Heal the Bay 2016 Annual Beach Report Card is available at www.healthebay.org