Bacteria Load Reduction Strategy Adaptation
Pathogens in the Los Angeles River and its tributaries pose a health risk to public recreators. To better protect public health and support recreational use in local waterbodies, the ULAR Group is adapting their original bacteria Load Reduction Strategy (LRS) to tackle the bacteria-related issues using the latest watershed science. This adapted strategy provides the foundation to address pathogen health risk and help streamline efforts across agencies and other stakeholders, by identifying the most effective pathway towards improved public health and attainment of bacteria-related water quality objectives. The adaptive management process will focus on prioritizing identification and abatement of pathogen sources. The comprehensive screening and targeting of human waste control strategies are expected to result in significant long-term pathogen reduction benefits.
Given the urgency of improving recreational water quality conditions and upcoming regulatory deadlines, the Group recently completed an initial phase of the LRS Adaptation, focused on Segment B of the Los Angeles River (mainstem and tributaries) as the highest priority with the earliest regulatory deadlines. Assessments of the current water quality conditions and prioritization of areas of concern were completed under the adaptive management, risk-based approach. A core element of this work involved significant data collection efforts on potential sources, specifically human sources, throughout the watershed and assessing the vulnerability of being transported downstream to waterbodies. Through this effort, preliminary areas of investigation were identified to focus initial source investigation monitoring. The ULAR and Rio Hondo Watershed Area Steering Committees saw the value in advancing this study and voted in the first round of the Safe, Clean Water Program to provide up to $1.2 million in funding towards the effort.