Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The Orange County Health Care Agency issued a rain advisory for the coast on Monday, Dec. 23. Dana Point saw heavy rainfall through the morning, which can cause contaminants to flood through storm drains, such as those that empty into San Juan Creek.

“The Environmental Health staff advises swimmers that bacterial levels can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters adjacent to storm drains, creeks and rivers during and after rainstorms,” the advisory states.

Elevated levels of bacteria can continue for a period of at least three days depending on the intensity of the rain and the volume of the runoff.

“Swimmers should avoid coastal waters impacted by discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers, and beach users should avoid contact with any runoff on the beach during dry or wet weather conditions,” the advisory states.

The Health Care Agency, in partnership with the Orange County Sanitation District and South Orange County Wastewater Authority, have been testing the coastal ocean, bay and harbor waters in Orange County for bacteria that indicate the possible presence of disease-causing organisms.

The results of the tests are reviewed by Health Care Agency Environmental Health staff, and if the data indicates a contamination, warning or closure signs are posted at the beach depending on the extent and cause of the contamination.

If you need to report a bather illness, call 714.433.6011 during business hours from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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