Steer clear of the beach after rain, scientists say
Fecal pollution at 227 California beaches rose 4% from 2007 to 2008, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council study released Wednesday. Los Angeles County had the worst beach water quality in the state, with 20% of its water samples violating state daily maximum standards.
Overall, samples taken at more than 400 California beaches violated state standards 10% of the time. California waters ranked among the most polluted in the country. The state came in 22nd out of 30 coastal states for beach water quality.
The report recommends a range of precautions, including steering clear of urban beaches after a rainstorm, when storm water contaminated with animal and human feces can carry bacteria into the water and sicken swimmers.
Photo: A surfer on Surfrider Beach. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times