Los Angeles River is Open for Recreation
The Los Angeles River opened to the public for the summer on Memorial Day. Residents are able to do things such as fish or kayak in the Sepulveda Basin and Elysian Valley until Sept. 30, when the river will be closed again to the public. Despite the river being open, some people are wondering whether the river is safe. River toxicity is a major public concern and it is recommended that you don’t swim in it unless water quality standards are safe. Steven Appleton of the L.A. River Kayak Safari, a company that provides guided kayaking tours of the river out of Elysian Valley, states,
Last year, where we kayaked, the water quality met EPA ‘full immersion swimming standards’ on about 93 percent of the test dates. These tests are for bacterial standards. Other ‘toxins’ are at quite low levels that do not pose risk for kayaking and mostly even meet drinking water standards.
This is the sixth year that the L.A. River has been open to the public for recreational use, but some residents are still concerned about the water quality. A Heal the Bay study in 2017 found elevated levels of fecal bacteria in the last remaining natural-bottom sections of the L.A. River, which is located in the Sepulveda Basin’s Lake Balboa and in the Elysian Valley north of downtown. The L.A. Department of Public Works believes that its frequent testing procedures, which search for the presence of E. coli bacteria, ensure suitable water conditions. To check the river’s water quality on any given day, the city has the following website that people can access: https://lacitysan.org/waterquality
Hopefully, the water quality remains good so that residents can explore the L.A. River.