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You Dirty Beach! Urban Runoff Means Poor Water Quality

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The heavy rains pounding the hillsides and concrete of Los Angeles has a very specific trickle-down effect when it comes to the Pacific. Called "urban runoff," the rush of water spewing into the ocean from storm drains puts beach-goers at risk because of high bacteria levels.Not that you were likely planning to take a dip down at the beach this week, but, just in case: "A Rain Advisory has been declared for all Los Angeles County beaches. The advisory will be in effect until 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 23. This advisory may be extended depending upon further rainfall," the LA County Department of Health has announced. This is an extension of the same warning issued over the weekend in L.A. Same story for Long Beach, reports the Post-Telegram, noting: "People should always pay particular attention to any warning signs posted at the beach for their safety."

Down in Orange County, their Health Department is warning people to avoid water contact for "at least 72 hours following the end of any measurable rain event, " and "especially within 100 yards of drainpipes, creek outlets and river mouths," according to the OC Beach Blog, an advisory echoed by authorities in L.A. and Long Beach, too.