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Steer clear of the beach after rain, scientists say

July 29, 2009 | 11:30 am


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.

For more information, see the Los Angeles Times story and the NRDC report online here.

Photo: A surfer on Surfrider Beach. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times