All L.A. County beaches under high bacteria warning due to rain

Public health officials warned of high bacteria levels on all Los Angeles County beaches on Wednesday after a rainstorm swept through Southern California.

As officials tested the coastal waters and feared bacterial levels had exceeded state standards, the county health department advised people to avoid swimming or any contact with the water due to the risk of illness.

The county said the disease risk is greater for the elderly and children.

The recommendation, in effect through 7:30 a.m. Saturday, covers the entire coast of the county from San Pedro to Malibu, which includes more than 80 beaches, creeks and storm drains, and 24 miles of sand.

The first clues about bacterial levels included just seven beaches along the LA County coast, including the Santa Monica Pier, which is ranked among the dirtiest beaches in California.

It is typical for bacterial concentrations to rise in coastal waters after storms as rain drives pollutants, pesticides and debris out of the county’s gullies, drains, streams and rivers and into the ocean. Bacterial concentrations often remain high for at least 72 hours after a storm.

According to the Oxnard-based National Weather Service, LA County recorded rainfall totals between a tenth of an inch and a half-inch on Wednesday, with most precipitation falling in mountainous areas.

According to weather experts, the showers should subside on Wednesday afternoon. All L.A. County beaches under high bacteria warning due to rain

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