Bacteria monitoring by the Sanitation Districts is conducted along the shoreline, inshore near the kelp beds, and offshore near our outfalls. The purpose of shoreline microbiological monitoring is to provide data to allow public health officials to manage beaches to assure public safety, and to support of the Santa Monica Bay Beaches Bacteria (SMBBB) Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Inshore and offshore microbiological monitoring is used to ensure that California Ocean Plan bacteriological standards for water contact and shellfish harvesting are being met in waters around the discharge point. The results of these monitoring efforts are discussed in the Microbiology chapter of the JWPCP Biennial Receiving Water Monitoring Report.

The OMRG bacteria monitoring program consists of 17 sampling locations including eight shoreline stations sampled on a weekly basis, six inshore stations sampled five times per month, and three offshore stations sampled monthly. At each station, samples are collected and analyzed for total coliform, fecal coliform and Enterococcus. Sampling at shoreline stations is done in the wave wash zone. At the inshore stations, which are located along the 9-meter depth contour, samples are collected at 0.5 m below the surface and within 2 m of the seabed. At offshore stations, samples are required 0.5 m below the surface.

Data from the shoreline sites monitored by the Sanitation Districts are provided to public health officials for beach management purposes and to the entities implementing the coordinated monitoring plan for the SMBBB wet and dry weather TMDLs. In addition, the TMDL-related shoreline data are electronically reported to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LARWQCB) on a weekly basis. The State Water Resources Control Board provides a portal to access historical fecal indicator bacteria data at their My Water Quality website where shoreline data collected by the Sanitation Districts are available.

Microbiological Sampling Sites