Orange County is posting warning signs at seven bacterial hot spots along beleaguered Aliso Creek warning people about the dangers of swimming in the contaminated waters.
The signs, written in English and Spanish, were posted last week at places "where people have very clear access to Aliso Creek at points identified as having high bacteria levels," said Larry Paul, head of the county's Watershed and Coastal Resources Division.
Pollution has plagued Aliso Creek, which drains more than 34 square miles from the Santa Ana Mountains to the Pacific Ocean off Laguna Beach, where swimmers are regularly warned about health risks. Urban runoff--trash, chemicals and other pollutants washed from streets and lawns into storm drains and area waterways--is a perpetual problem.
Fecal bacteria counts are especially high--once reaching 225 times the allowable health standard--at one storm channel that drains runoff from eight Laguna Niguel neighborhoods into the creek.
In addition to posting a sign near the storm drain, officials also posted signs at Foxborough Park near Aliso Viejo, Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, Dairy Fork in Laguna Hills and elsewhere. The sites were selected based on an October study funded by a $150,000 grant from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board.