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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | COUNTYWIDE

Public Reminded of Beach Contamination

March 18, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

County health officials are reminding swimmers, surfers and other water sports enthusiasts that ocean bacteria levels rise during and after rainstorms.

Higher levels of bacteria, which can cause illness, are typically found in ocean and bay waters, close to storm drains and creek and river outlets. Swimmers should avoid these areas for up to three days after rains.

Typically, storm drains, creeks and rivers carry urban runoff--pollutants including animal waste, decomposing vegetation, motor oil and fertilizer--into the ocean.

Signs are posted at seriously contaminated areas. There is a beach closure in Dana Point but that is an ongoing problem not caused by the recent rains, said Larry Honeybourne, a spokesman for the county Health Care Agency.

A recording with up-to-date information on contaminated beaches is available at (714) 667-3752.

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