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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Decline in Beach Water Quality Seen in Latest Study

October 26, 2000

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Although the water quality of Southern California beaches was generally good last summer, the contamination off beaches in Los Angeles County was worse than in 1999, according to a report released Wednesday by Heal the Bay.

Of the 85 monitoring points off county beaches, 58 showed water quality ranging from good to excellent--down 20% from last year.

There were 27 locations where water quality was rated fair to poor, the report says. Ten of those were in Long Beach, which suffered the worst deterioration in water quality, said James Alamillo, spokesman for the environmental organization.

Many factors contributed to the results. And despite the bad marks, no sewage spills were reported in the county all summer, said Alamillo.

Orange County did better than last year, with notable exceptions, such as the Doheny State Beach area of Dana Point. Huntington Beach, which was closed throughout much of the summer of 1999, still had problems this summer. There were 13 sewage spills throughout Orange County, the group reported.

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