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Stay Out of That Post-Storm Water, Officials Warn

Aug 21, 2023 08:10PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Foamy scum - and a trail of debris - can be seen in the sand from the Manhattan Beach Pier following Sunday's tropical storm.

Editor's note: This story contains a reminder that Polliwog Park floods intentionally during rainstorms.

Following Sunday's rain from Tropical Storm Hilary, the public health department is urging people to stay out of the water at L.A. County beaches - including Manhattan Beach - until Thursday.

An Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory has been declared for all Los Angeles County beaches. The advisory will be in effect at least until 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 24.

An ocean water quality rain advisory is declared when there is significant rainfall that may cause run-off from inland to flow to the ocean. Contamination from run-off can cause increased bacterial levels in ocean water especially near storm drains, creeks, and other waterways. Water contact during a rain advisory may cause illness especially in children, the elderly and susceptible people. Bacteria levels may take 72 hours or more to return to normal after heavy rainfall.

In Manhattan Beach on Sunday, a trail of trash - and water with visible scum on top - could be seen on the beach as staff cleaned up from the weekend's AVP Manhattan Beach Open tournament.

Polliwog Park Flooded - Intentionally

(The pond at Polliwog Park on Sunday)

In East Manhattan Beach, Polliwog Park is flooded with water. Polliwog Park serves as a retention basin for Los Angeles County and is designed to store storm water during heavy rains. 

L.A. County regulates the amount of water that flows through a pump station at the park, based on the capacity of the storm water system at that time.

In times of significant rainfall, the pond can store the water until it’s able to enter the system without overwhelming it.

On Sunday, Manhattan Beach Police were stationed at Polliwog Park, telling would-be swimmers or waders to stay out of the water.

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