HERMOSA BEACH — Sparked by recent findings of high levels of coliform bacteria and signs warning swimmers to avoid some storm drains in Santa Monica and Redondo Beach, the City Council has asked the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to test and monitor ocean water near storm drains.
Jack Petralia, director of the bureau of environmental protection in the Health Department, said that, to the best of the department's knowledge, the ocean water near Hermosa Beach is safe. The department has not checked those drains, he said, because they do not flow during the summer "in any significant amount that should be influencing the (bacteria) counts in the ocean."
He said he does not know if the department will honor Hermosa's request.
The Los Angeles city Bureau of Sanitation tests for bacteria every day at 27 locations in the Santa Monica Bay, including one or two in Hermosa Beach, Petralia said.
Councilman Jim Rosenberger proposed that Hermosa Beach contract for independent tests in the area as well. "I don't trust the county in this particular case, and I'd like to have my own (tests)," he said.