This summer Long Beach received 73% A and B grades while last summer only 60% of Long Beach beaches received good to excellent grades. In general, beach water quality in Long Beach tends to be impacted by the Los Angeles River. This idea is supported by an extensive source tracking study which showed the vast majority of bacterial contamination at Long Beach beaches was a result of pollution from the Los Angeles River.
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has since developed a Los Angeles River Bacteria Dry and Wet Weather Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). A TMDL is the maximum amount of pollutant a water body can receive in order to still meet water quality standards. However, the pollution limits won’t be implemented for another 25 years. Heal the Bay fought unsuccessfully for a separate and shorter implementation deadline for dry weather. Hopefully through effective implementation, this pollution limit will lead to long-term improved water quality for beaches in Long Beach. There were two poor grades (F) in Long Beach this summer at Colorado Lagoon (north and south). However, recent projects intended to improve tidal flow at Colorado Lagoon should improve scores in the future.