Mission Statement

Our goal is to maintain clean and safe water for recreational and domestic use through monitoring and testing, and through increased community awareness and education regarding water quality, storm drain runoff, and illegal discharge into our storm drains.

The Water Quality Program is responsible for:

1. Recreational Water Monitoring

Long Beach has approximately 7 miles of public beach and bays attracting thousands of residents and visitors throughout the year. In order to protect the safety of the public, residents and visitors. Water samples are collected three times a week and tested routinely by the Health Department's Environmental Health Water Quality Monitoring Program to monitor bacterial levels. Sampling also includes Bays, Marinas and within the Harbor area. For additional information about Southern California beaches, visit the Heal the Bay website. Fifteen (15) locations are monitored and analyzed at the Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Lab. Results are ready in 18 to 24 hours, depending on the test. If sample results are outside state standards, re-sampling is done and continued until results are within state standards

In addition to online posts, the Health Department posts warning signs when needed. This information is also made available on the hotline at (562) 570-4199.

Water Quality FAQ

2. Well Permitting

  • Environmental Health requires permits for all wells in the City
  • Permits are required for installation and destruction of wells
  • Permits require a 48-hour notification
  • Public works also permits well construction/abandonment of work done in the street, alley or sidewalk
  • The main concern is the proper sealing of the well to prevent contamination of the ground water

Well Permit Application 

3. Public swimming pool/spa plan check and inspections

  • Staff perform annual routine pool inspections
  • Water Quality Program staff perform pool/spa plan check reviews, including remodel and re-plaster
  • Three sets of plans are required; one is kept for the files

Current Pool Equipment Requirements in LA County

4. Recycled Water Inspections

  • Every four years a "shut down" test is performed on all sites using recycled water. This test is to ensure that there is no cross connection between the domestic water lines and the recycled water lines.
  • The test may take several hours to perform depending on the size of the facility and the number of personnel.
  • Most inspections are performed early in the morning before the facility is open or after hours.
  • All recycled water pipes, valves, controllers, and boxes must be purple or properly tagged.

5. Cross Connection

"Cross connection" is an unprotected actual or potential connection or structural arrangement between a potable water system and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce any used water, industrial fluid, gas, or substance other than the intended potable water.

This program encompasses the following activities:

  • Record keeping/tracking of more than 2500 backflow prevention devices
  • Commercial/industrial surveys
  • Plan checks
  • Mailing of notices for annual testing of backflow devices along with a list of backflow certified prevention testers.

Grease Management Program

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) disposed of incorrectly can have severe unintended consequences. Oils and grease poured onto the ground can be harmful to pets and can attract pests, while oil or grease poured into the sink or storm drains causes blockages in the sewer lines and contaminates the storm drain water that flows into the ocean. Grease makes its way into city sanitary pipes when you dispose of oil, butter, dairy or other everyday cooking products down the sink.

For Residents:

Grease disposed of down your kitchen sink clogs drains and creates sewer backups. Blocked sewer pipes can cause raw sewage overflow in your home, your neighbors’ homes, or in parks and streets. Grease may lead to an expensive cleanup and plumbing repair bills at your expense.

Tips to Maintain Grease-Free Drains

  • COLLECT grease in a container once cooled and dispose of in the trash. For very oily liquids, mix with dry wastes such as kitty litter, paper products, or other absorbent materials. 
  • REMOVE grease or oil from your pans with a paper towel before washing.
  • DISPOSE of food scraps in the trash and minimize garbage disposal usage.
  • NEVER pour grease or oil down the drain.

For Businesses:

Wastewater discharges containing high concentrations of fats, oils, and grease from restaurants and other food handling facilities contribute to more than half of the blockages or overflows in the City's wastewater collection system.

To effectively address the issue, Environmental Health inspectors inspect food facilities to enforce maintenance and monitoring requirements for controlling the discharge of grease from food service facilities into the city's wastewater collection system and commercial grease haulers.

Contact Us:

For more information on Environmental Health Water Quality Program, please call (562) 570-4134 or email us at EHWater@longbeach.gov. For the latest status on beach and bay closures or postings, call the Beach Advisory and Closure Hotline at (562) 570-4199. Call 911 after hours and on weekends.

  • To report illegal dumping into a catch basin, call (562) 570-DUMP.
  • To report a sewage spill, call (562) 570-4129 Monday through Friday 8-5.
  • For after-hour beach emergencies call the Fire dispatch at 911.
  • To organize and/or participate in beach clean-up days call (562)570-1471 for more information.

Additional Resources: 

Backflow Certified Prevention Testers
Blank Backflow Test Form
CDC's Fecal Incident Response in Swimming Pools 
Pool Code Book Title 22
Pool Cover Requirements
Pool Plan Check Guide Replaster
Pool Plan Check Guide New Construction
Swimming Pool Plan Check Application VGB Upgrade Only
Line Clearance Permit Application
Well Permit Application