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Rain Prompts Ocean Swimming Advisory

Heal the Bay warns beachgoers not to swim, surf or play in the Pacific Ocean during the next 72 hours.

Manhattan Beach is seeing the autumn's first rainfall, which means swimming in the local ocean is not a good idea, according to .

The nonprofit is warning Los Angeles County residents not to swim, surf or play in ocean waters near discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers for the next 72 hours, due to the new season's "first flush." The advisory has been issued because high levels of bacteria, debris and trash from city streets and mountain areas have been making their way into the ocean.

"Our region’s water bodies are likely to see significantly higher pollution levels after this rain event," Heal the Bay water-quality director Kirsten James said in a statement Wednesday. "With so many year-round ocean users now, it’s critical that they stay out of the water for a while."

When the first rainfall of the new season occurs, debris, toxic chemicals and animal waste that have built up in riverbeds, roadways and sidewalks get washed into storm drains, according to the organization. More than 80 percent of debris that is in the ocean stems from sources located inland.

"Exposure to runoff can cause a variety of illness, most frequently respiratory infection and stomach flu," according to Heal the Bay. "Human pathogens of unknown origins are also frequently carried in storm-drain gutters."

Overall, Heal the Bay's latest  scored Manhattan Beach beaches with an "A" for beach quality.

For more information on beach conditions, Los Angeles County's beach closure hotline is accessible 24 hours a day at 800-525-5662. Information also is available online here.

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