Surfrider Beach in Malibu suffers from high bacteria concentrations as a result of a polluted Malibu Creek Watershed, according to a report released recently by Heal the Bay.
"We hope that this report will help all of us to make progress on that," said Shelley Luce, director of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, which helped with the 12-year report, "Malibu Creek Watershed: Ecosystem on the Brink."
Surfrider Beach received a failing grade from Heal the Bay, even during the dry season, for 12 out of 13 years of monitoring, which lands the beach on its annual Beach Bummer List.
The main contributor to high bacteria levels and other pollutants includes malfunctioning septic systems, facility discharges, agricultural uses and stormwater runoff.
The Tapia Wastewater Treatment Facility is a contributor to high nutrient levels in the stream, including nitrogen, according to the report.
"The impacts of those high nutrient levels are seen in high algae levels," Luce said, adding that high algae levels reduces oxygen levels in water.
The report recommends Tapia, which only discharges in the wet season, increase water tank storage.
Downstream of Tapia had the highest levels of nitrates in Malibu Creek.
“I don’t think is a surprise to anyone in this room,” Luce said.
Over the past decade, Tapia has worked to reduce nutrient concentrations in their effluent, the report states.