High bacteria levels earn Pismo another bad grade

High bacteria levels continue to give Pismo Beach one of the worst ocean water quality ratings in the state.

Nineteen beaches in San Luis Obispo County earned “A” grades from the environmental group Heal the Bay. The Los Angeles-based group ranks coastline areas in California in its annual End of Summer Beach Report Card.

The ocean at Pismo Beach Pier received a “D” grade, the county’s only poor mark, according to the report card.

The group assigns A to F letter grades to 458 beaches along the coast, based on levels of bacterial pollution reported from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

High bacteria levels south of the Pismo Pier have been a problem for years. Bird droppings from the pier are suspected as a main source of the pollution.

The report noted that an extensive study using DNA to identify the sources of bacteria is under way.

Grades are slightly better than last year, when 91 percent of beaches statewide received high marks.

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