Water Quality Program
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 City of Long Beach Water Quality Program is responsible for:

1. Recreational Water Monitoring

Long Beach has approximately 7 miles of public beach and may be visited by over 50,000 people during the summer months. In order to protect the safety of the public, weekly samples are collected 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) samples are collected weekly (AB 411 requirements) 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
When needed, the Health Department posts warning signs. This information is also made available on the hotline at (562) 570-4199.

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

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

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Safety Act of 2007

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

Contact Us: For more information on Environmental Health Water Quality Program, please call (562) 570-4134. 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.