Beach Water Pollution and Quality in Long Beach
There are many primary sources of beach water pollution. They can be listed in the following manner. Storm water runoff (water that originates as rain or melted snow water, but during the course of its journey accumulates waste from land, such as human and animal fecal matter; plant, animal, and construction debris; roads, rooftops, and so on). Waste generated by sewer systems (this can constitute leaks of human and industrial waste from old and malfunctioning pipes, or a combination of raw sewage and runoff waste from human establishments and industries). Waste from boating systems (mostly in marinas, where clean water cannot be circulated because of the natural or artificially constructed breakthrough). Waste from septic systems (waste from septic tanks that treat human waste, but often discharge residue in nearby water bodies). Agricultural waste (excessive manure generated on industrialized farms and large quantities of animal waste), climate change that results in altered rain patterns and increased flooding and erosion on coasts. Beach visitors who often leave behind wastage in the form of feces, plastic packets, and pet waste. Another source of beach water pollution is marine debris, such as plastic items and oil spills. (Natural Resources Defense Council 1-4)
The maximum amount of fecal bacteria in Long Beach comes from the Los Angeles River’s immense drainage area, stretching for over a hundred square miles around the beach.
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The quality of beach water is monitored in three phases, or periods, of weather. They are: Summer dry (extending from April to October), Winter dry (November to March), and Wet Weather (annual, extends from April to March of the next year). The quality of water is monitored in these periods, and the results contribute significantly to identifying the pollutants and devising solutions. (Heal the Bay 6)
The top row in figure 2.9 depicts the grades given to the beach water quality at different beaches in Long Beach City during the year 2013-14. There was a total of 15 locations tested for beach water quality. For summer dry weather, 47% of the locations received a B grade, for good water quality, 13% received a C grade for neutral water, and 40% received an A for excellent water. For winter dry weather, 93% of the locations received an A, which means that water quality was excellent in all these locations between the months of November and March. 7% of the locations had slightly less improved water quality during winter dry weather. As far as the wet weather was concerned, all of the locations in Long Beach City received an F, which means that water quality during wet weather months is usually less than acceptable and healthy than normal.
When compared to the statistics of the last five years, the beach water quality in Long Beach city has improved significantly during summer dry and winter dry weather. The percentage of places, receiving an A went up by 6%; 10% more places received a B, and the number of places receiving a C went down by 11%. Water quality improved significantly during winter dry weather, with 93% places receiving an A grade, and only 7% getting a B. Water quality during wet weather, however, dropped drastically, with all of the places receiving a grade F. The reason could be long beach’s continued exposure to the Los Angeles river drainage area, coupled with inward flow of human and animal waste, garbage, and other trash.
Works Cited BIBLIOGRAPHY Heal the Bay. Heal the Bay’s 2013-2014 Annual Beach Report Card. Research Finding. Santa Monica: Heal the Bay; Swain Barber Foundation, 2014. Print
Natural Resources Defense Council. “Sources of Beach Water Pollution.” Testing the Waters (2014). Print
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