California had the nation's 17th most polluted beaches last year, and for the fifth straight year, the worst of those beaches were in Los Angeles County, the Natural Resources Defense Council reported Tuesday.Fecal pollution results when sewage and treatment systems are inadequate or overwhelmed -- situations that are far-too-common.
Among California beaches, those in Los Angeles County had the highest levels of fecal material in ocean water, according to the NRDC.
Interestingly, there are alternatives to the centralized collection and purification systems that are the standard today. Read this paper [DOC] to get an idea of how to save money, reduce demand for water and deliver cleaner waste water services.
In it, the authors give detailed economic and engineering estimates of how "local" management of water is cheaper and safer than processing via centralized facilities.
Bottom Line: We've come a long way since the medieval ages if effluent everywhere. "Backyard sewage treatment" can be less-costly, more sanitary and less-water intensive.