28 Jul LA River Water Quality: How to Stay Safe and Enjoy our River
This week Heal the Bay – a water health nonprofit – released a new study on Los Angeles River water quality that’s lead many angelenos to ask “is my River safe?”
Friends of the Los Angeles River is here with an answer: yes, it is… with just a few simple precautionary measures.
Heal the Bay’s new study tells us that we have a lot of work ahead to mitigate serious water quality issues, but, it also tells us that the current water quality does not preclude safe recreation and shouldn’t stop anyone from going down to the River.
FoLAR is committed to a healthy and restored Los Angeles River and we support efforts to improve water quality and public health. We were an active participant in Heal The Bay’s water quality study, providing expert insight along the way; have partnered with Heal The Bay on developing Waste Discharge Requirements for debris removal from the River; and we support one another’s annual Coastal and River Cleanups.
We know water quality is not what it should be in the LA River and we are committed to continued support and leadership in efforts towards a cleaner and healthier River.
Like most any bodies of water in America worldwide you have to take some sensible precautions to make sure you have a safe and healthy experience. As we work toward a restored River, we recommend that the community, River recreation operators, and responsible government agency take the following measures:
- Kayaking and Angling: make sure to limit water contact – especially hand-to-face water contact. Also make sure not to enter the water with an open wound, after rainfall, or if you are immunocompromised. Don’t forget to wash with soap and clean water after your visit!
- Swimming: visitors – especially children – should avoid swimming – especially submerging you’re their head under the water. As always, make sure to wash up with soap and clean water.
- Public notification: All groups promoting recreation in the River should provide water quality information and best practices to all participants, using consistent, accurate and prominent information on all outreach materials, and in multiple languages, consistent with the demographics of visitors.
- Increased monitoring: The City of Los Angeles or responsible municipal agency should institute, at a minimum, weekly water quality testing for fecal indicator bacteria in the recreation zones during the open season (Memorial Day to the end of September), and at other known swimming spots along the Los Angeles River.
Together we will create the swimmable, fishable, boatable, bikeable Los Angeles River we believe in. While we’re working to realize that dream go out to the River, fish, kayak – have a wonderful time, but, don’t forget to follow basic guidelines to stay safe and healthy.
If you have any questions about water quality on the Los Angeles River or how to stay safe when you visit send an email to contact@FoLAR.org – we’re here to help!