Beachgoers urged to avoid water near storm drains

Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, California. ( David McNew/Getty Images )

With rain water again sending debris and other potentially hazardous materials cascading to the coast, Los Angeles County health officials issued a beach water use advisory Monday, urging people to avoid swimming in the ocean near discharging drains and creeks.

The advisory will remain in effect until at least 7:30 a.m. Thursday for beaches throughout the county, although with more rain in the forecast for Christmas Day and beyond, the advisory will likely be extended.

Health officials warned that storm runoff can carry bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash and other health hazards into the ocean, and swimming in contaminated water can lead to illness.

Information on beach conditions is available 24 hours a day on the county's beach closure hotline, 800-525-5662, and online at PublicHealth.LACounty.gov/Beach.