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Environment

Dirty Storm Waters Foul L.A. Coast: Beach-Goers Told to Stay Away From Drain Pipes, Creeks, Rivers

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Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 11:24 AM

click to enlarge You've been warned.
  • You've been warned.
It's the sad underbelly of the beach lifestyle stereotype that gives Southern California some of its glow:

We're some dirty bastards. And while we've done a good job of keeping beach water fairly clean in the summer months (thanks Heal the Bay and Surfrider Foundation), the trash, oil, fertilizer and slime of the L.A. basin all gets washed into the Pacific when the storms come.

Like this week ...

... the L.A. County Health Officer is warning people not to go for a swim near storm drains, creeks and river mouths.

Of course, another irony here is that the tourists and barneys who might normally dip their toes if the temperature gets above 75 in the winter don't need to hear it. They're not going for a saltwater bath this week.

But the pros who should know better -- surfers, triathletes, divers -- they're the ones who'll end up getting wet anyway.

Surfers, in particular, aren't about to let dirty water get in the way of storm surf.

In any case, here's your L.A. County "advisory:"

"Because of current rainfall, the County Health Officer is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to be careful of swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. Bacteria, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to enter ocean waters though these outlets."

It lasts through Saturday.

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