Beach Water Advisory Issued for Los Angeles County Due to Contamination Concerns Following Recent Rainfall

Los Angeles County beaches have been issued with an Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory due to contamination concerns following recent heavy rainfall in the area.

Residents and guests visiting Los Angeles County beaches have been advised to "avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers," by Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, in a statement by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Los Angeles County recorded some of the highest rainfall totals in Southern California as the area received what was reported to be its first significant rainfall since May this week, with a Flash Flood Watch currently in place for parts of Southern California.

"Bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around these outlets after a rainfall. Individuals who enter the water in these areas could become ill.

"The Department of Public Health recommends that beach users avoid contact with ocean water for a period of 3 days after significant rainfall, especially near flowing storm drains, creeks and rivers," the official website of the LA County Department of Health states.

The areas under advisory are said to only comprise a small part of the beach and all other areas are exempt from the warning, the department confirmed.

The latest warning is in effect until 9 a.m. (local time) on Saturday and may be extended depending upon further rainfall, the department noted.

"A rain advisory is issued when there is significant rainfall that may cause bacteria levels in ocean waters to increase. Bacteria levels can increase significantly during and after rainstorms, as contaminants within the runoff enter the ocean.

"Bacteria levels may remain elevated up to 3 days depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of runoff. Elevated bacteria levels in ocean water may cause illness, especially in children and the elderly," the department warned.

Here's the updated rainfall and snow totals for the area over the last 24 hours! The highest rainfall totals were in LA County, with San Gabriel Dam receiving 1.61 inches!
#LArain #socal #LAweather

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) November 21, 2019

Visitors and local residents can access the latest information on LA County beach conditions and beach closures by calling 1-800- 525-5662 or at the department's website, where they can access an interactive map of LA County beaches being monitored for their latest water quality status.

East Central LA was under a Significant Weather Advisory by the National Weather Service (NWS) on Wednesday, with moderate to heavy showers having affected the El Monte and Monrovia areas, according to the NWS Los Angeles Twitter feed.

Downtown LA was reported to have seen hail, according to a video posted on the official Twitter account of Tony Cabrera, an ABC 7 reporter in Southern California.

The San Gabriel Dam area recorded the highest rainfall in the past two days, at 1.69 inches, while Mount Pinos in Ventura County saw 8 to 16 inches of snow, according to the latest report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NWS Forecast Office.

#Hail in Downtown L.A.! Thanks to @abc7tony friend for sending this. We still have #thunderstorms firing up over Southern California, and the chance for more will be there throughout the afternoon #downtownla #CaWx #SoCal

— Brianna Ruffalo (@ABC7BriannaR) November 20, 2019

More than 13 million people are estimated to be under a flash flood advisory issued by the NWS in parts of Southern California, most of Arizona as well as in patches of Nevada and Utah over the next few days, while a severe storm is forecast for several parts of the Central states, potentially spreading further south and east, according to AccuWeather.

The beach coast of Santa Monica in Los Angeles
The beach coast of Santa Monica in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images