Researchers found the worst offenders were the sheltered side of Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey, Santa Monica Beach near the pier and Topanga Beach in Malibu. Sheltered or enclosed beaches showed persistent elevated levels of bacteria…Health officials have long known that microbes, mainly E. coli and enterococci bacteria found in fecal material, can reach harmful levels in ocean water. Urban runoff from city streets, farms and industries carries a witches’ brew of pollutants that are concentrated to unhealthful levels around storm drains and river mouths. The new study, to be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal Water Research, adds to a growing body of evidence that health risks extend to the shore. “People haven’t looked at the sand until recently,” said Alexis Strauss, director of the water division for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Our urban existence yields bacteria year-round.”
I can’t speak for Topanga Beach, but as to the others, The Nose Knows. Anyone who has been to these beaches has probably smelled the sewage smell.