SANTA MONICA—An Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory has been put into effect until 7 a.m. on Sunday, December 2. Los Angeles County beach users are asked to avoid water contact for at least 72 hours after significant rainfall, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

A rain advisory is issued when there is significant rainfall that may cause bacteria levels in ocean waters to increase, as contaminants within the runoff enters the ocean. Bacteria levels can stay higher for up to three days depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of runoff. Elevated bacteria levels in ocean water presents the cause of illness, especially in children and the elderly. The Department of Public Health recommends that beach users avoid contact with ocean water, especially near flowing storm drains, creeks and rivers.

The Department of Public Health reported that laboratory results from four local agencies are displayed on the map. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) Environmental Health Recreational Waters Program, collects ocean water samples from the mainland, once a week throughout the year. DPH collects an additional five samples from Avalon on Santa Catalina Island beginning in April through October.

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (SD) collects ocean water samples at selected sites on the mainland, once each week throughout the year. DPH and SD also resample sites that have exceeded state standards for bacteria in ocean water. The city of Los Angeles, Environmental Monitoring Division, LA Sanitation (HYP) collects water samples from various sites, one to five times per week, all year round. The city of Los Angeles collects samples at some DPH sites as required by their State NPDES permit.

The public is notified when a site has exceeded state standards for bacteria in ocean water via the LA County website, by telephone hotline, and by signs posted at the impacted beaches.