SANTA MONICA — An annual study of California beaches shows the water quality along the state's coast this past summer was one of the cleanest on record.
The "Beach Report Card" released Thursday by Heal the Bay said an estimated 93 percent of the 445 beaches that were tested for bacterial pollution received A and B grades. Thirty-two locations received fair to poor water quality grades.
The Santa Monica-based group studied levels of bacteria found in water samples taken by local agencies.
Most bacterial contamination occurs during winter, when heavy rains overload storm drains and sewage systems, washing waste into the sea. Swimming in such pollution can cause gastrointestinal, respiratory and other illnesses.