MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Swimmers and surfers were advised Friday to stay out of the ocean because of high levels of bacteria, trash and debris in the water due to this week’s series of El Niño storms.
Of particular concern are beaches alongside 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 through these outlets,” Los Angeles County interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser said in a statement.
A health advisory for all of Los Angeles and Orange county beaches is in effect through Sunday morning.
Debris washing up on Southern California’s beaches has included tree branches blown out to the ocean and trash from city streets that wash into storm drains. A rattlesnake was even found amid storm debris on Ventura Beach Thursday.
The prospect of swimming with trash may not be enough of a deterrent for some hardcore surfers however. High surf warnings will be in force in Los Angeles County through 4 a.m. Friday, and through 10 p.m. in Orange County. National Weather Service forecasters say the surf will build to between 10 and 14 feet, with sets of 16 feet expected Friday morning.