Update, December 29, 3:50 p.m.: In case you were wondering why you were being told to stay out of the ocean at select beaches, see Exhibit A to the right. That's a flowing brown river of only Zeus-knows-what, spilling right into Main Beach in Laguna Beach. Hence, the beach closure.
Yellow signs urging people to stay out of the water are posted at Aliso Beach. The Weekly didn't see any posted at Main Beach during its drive down Pacific Coast Highway. While Aliso and Laguna are the worst hit with sewage and storm runoff, it's probably best to steer clear of the ocean altogether, at least for a few days.
You could get in, but you may not be in the best of health to celebrate the New Year.
More photos of other affected beaches after the jump.
Update, December 28, 10:00 a.m.: Though there's no official announcement of a beach closure, one would be wise to add San Onofre and Trestles to the list of surf/swim spots to avoid.
Camp Pendleton staff reported a Dec. 24 sewage spill that has sent contaminated water into the San Mateo Creek, which feeds directly into the lineup at Lowers and San Onofre State Park.
An estimated 1.08 million gallons of sewage is estimated to have spilled into San Mateo Creek before it was sealed off. The spill is believed to have been due to a damaged sewer main, which was backed up following the heavy rainfall. The spill occurred roughly 3 miles from where the creek meets the ocean.
Original Post, December 28, 8:03 p.m.:
If there are waves, surfers won't heed the warning, but Orange County officials have closed a stretch of four miles in South OC to swimmers and surfers. The closures are expected to extend to 12 miles of coastline in total if rains start up again today and tomorrow.
The four-mile stretch of coastline, which is mostly filled with floating debris and chocolate milk-colored water, includes Main Beach and Aliso Beach in Laguna, and Doheny Beach in Dana Point.
While there won't be anyone on the beach waving fingers to keep people out, ocean goers should be aware that exposure to the murky, dirty water can have a series of affects, including ear aches and infections, or a string of minor to major bacteria infections, depending on exposure and if an individual has open wounds.
Swim at your own risk. Better yet, wait a few days and prevent the medical bills.