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Swimmers Warned To Avoid Local Beaches Due To Bacteria From Storm Runoff

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(Photo by Christine N. Ziemba/LAist.)
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If you were hoping to take a post-storm swim, you might want to wait a bit. The L.A. County Department of Public Health has issued a warning for our local beaches due to bacteria. The reason for the warning is, in fact, the storm. Storms can cause refuse, pet waste and bacteria to move from urban areas to the ocean. Swimmers who unknowingly enter these contaminated waters could become ill. The warnings will be in place until Thursday morning at 10 a.m., but could be extended depending on how much rain we get later in the week, KTLA reports. Similar advisories are in effect for Orange County beaches.

According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health:

A rain advisory is issued when there is significant rainfall that may cause bacteria levels in ocean waters to increase. Bacteria levels can increase significantly during and after rainstorms, as contaminants within the runoff enters the ocean. Bacteria levels may remain elevated up to 3 days depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of runoff. Elevated bacteria levels in ocean water may cause illness, especially in children and the elderly. The Department of Public Health recommends that beach users avoid contact with ocean water for a period of 3 days after significant rainfall, especially near flowing storm drains, creeks and rivers.

You can check for beach closures and advisories online here, or by calling 800-525-5662. The hotline is currently advising caution around Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey.

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The map below will show you the water quality of various area beaches.