SLO County removes bacteria advisories at Avila Beach locations

The Avila Beach Pier.
The Avila Beach Pier. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

San Luis Obispo County officials have removed health advisories from two Avila Beach locations that tested above the state standard for fecal bacteria levels earlier this week.

Samples taken Monday showed locations near the mouth of San Luis Obispo Creek and at the end of San Luis Street near the pier exceeded the standards. Beach advisories had been posted at those locations.

On Wednesday, those locations were cleared of health advisories, according to the SLO County Department of Environmental Health’s beach water quality website.

USE Avila Beach advisory
Screen from from the San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health Services beach water quality website.

A beach advisory extends 50 yards north and south of the area where the sample is collected.

Another South County locale recently was subject to bacteria-related advisories.

For five straight days last week, samples near the Pismo Beach Pier exceeded the state standards, and county health officials posted signs warning beachgoers to avoid contact with the water. A sample taken just south of the pier later passed state bacterial standards on Tuesday, and the advisory was lifted.

Environmental health workers take weekly water samples from 19 beaches along the county’s coastline. The samples are tested for three types of fecal bacteria that can pose a public health threat. Those beaches that exceed state health standards are posted with warning signs.

County officials do not know what caused the weeklong string of high bacteria levels at Pismo Beach, but the beach has a history of bacterial pollution due to birds roosting on the pier.