LA county health officials say check your beach before you pack your car

A beach in California
A beach in California
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As people throughout the Southland flock to the coast this weekend, Los Angeles County public health officials say it’s a good idea to check beach water quality before you spread out your towel. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

From home you can track down the latest information on sewage spills and where the shore is ship-shape. The county points out that many L.A. beaches meet statewide standards. That means you can swim, surf, or snorkel to your heart’s content.

But inner Carillo Beach in San Pedro scored a flunking grade for the last month. Avalon beaches are subpar in the latest round of testing. In Malibu several beaches coexist less than peacefully with septic tanks, a frequent enforcement target for regional water officials.

L.A. County has a permit for runoff pollution – it pays fines for exceeding safe pollution levels set by the state. Last month the county challenged beach water quality standards. This month, the State Water Resources Control Board will determine whether L.A. County has to comply.