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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Oxford Basin and Drains Get Mosquito Treatment; West Nile Virus Infection Reported

Oxford Basin
Oxford Basin still under construction but with the saltwater/drain water mix.

The LA County Health Department reported an incident of West Nile Virus in the vicinity of the Oxford Basin, Venice areas and asked the LA County Vector Control Department to investigate.

Robert Saviskas, executive director of the LA County West Vector Control District, investigated immediately and found that storm drains had been blocked and salt water was not flowing into the basin. Dormant water causes mosquito infestation. Saviskas prepared a report in November explaining such.

The District has treated all of the open storm drain water in the Oxford Basin. The District has also treated the miles and miles of the backed up drain water via the man holes in the storm drains. They were breeding mosquitoes caused by the Oxford Basin renovation.

The District continued to treat all of these areas on a weekly basis until the ocean water once again flows into the basin. LA County Beaches & Harbors and Public Works have informed the District that the ocean water is schedule to flow back into the basin to mix with the storm drain water by December 31, 2015. Once the ocean water is allowed to flow freely into the basin again, it will be returned to its original salinity state and not breed mosquitoes in the future.

Saviskas said he also treated a couple of pools in the area that had dormant water and a couple of construction sites with similar problems.

“As soon as the salt water is allowed to flow into the basin, which was supposed to have been at the end of December, the mosquito problem will be solved naturally,” said Saviskas.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works was asked to make a statement regarding this. Kerjon Lee, public affairs manager for the County Public Works department made the following statement.

The county’s objective in the restoration of Oxford Basin is to create a more healthy and sustainable habitat for plants and wildlife and a recreational amenity for the local community.

Measures like the circulation berm were included to ensure that water within the basin would not be allowed to pond or stagnate. There were also a number of measures taken to prevent mosquitos from breeding during construction, including pumps that continually removed groundwater from the basin.

Last fall, when project managers were notified of possible mosquito breeding in a temporarily blocked storm drain leading to the basin, they moved quickly to eliminate those conditions. Currently, as part of the department’s regular operations, seawater is being circulated through the basin on a nearly daily basis to prevent standing water conditions.

LA County Public Works operates a 24-hour hotline at (800) 675-HELP (4357).

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