Researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency recently found something in a Los Angeles sewage plant that should not be in a sewage plant. Amid millions of gallons of raw sewage that Southern Californians spew into the sewer plants every day, there was a strain of a super-lethal super bug floating around–the same one that sickened seven people and killed two in a Los Angeles hospital last year. And where does that treated waste go afterwards? Straight into the ocean, where surfers and swimmers are frolicking around with their mouths open. Of course, it’s been treated, though, so it should be ok, right? Wrong.
Before I moved to California, I had never even heard that you weren’t supposed to surf after it rained. Here, though, it’s pretty common knowledge–common enough that the usual crowds are noticeably diminished. I suppose it’s for good reason. The lack of rain in Southern California coupled with the staggering amount of vile disgustingness the state is littered with lends itself to a serious buildup. When it does rain, a torrent of shit is unleashed, everyone gets ear and sinus infections, and then we all go about our merry way pretending that we didn’t just get human feces in our ears and up our noses. After a rain, Malibu in particular smells faintly like actual shit, but it’s the shit of the wealthy, so no one says anything, because everyone knows that rich people don’t shit.