SANTA CRUZ - Water samples taken Monday found bacteria levels exceeding safe standards for bodily contact at Cowell and Main beaches in Santa Cruz and at Capitola Beach west of the jetty, county health officials stated Tuesday.

There is no known sewage source, officials stated.

Generally, coastal waters meet safe swimming standards unless it rains, when increased bacteria levels near shore typically return to safe levels three days after a storm, said Steve Peters of the county Health Services Agency.

Urban lagoons, storm drains and stream discharges across beaches regularly have unsafe bacteria levels at the San Lorenzo River Mouth, Moore Creek at Natural Bridges State Beach, Schwan Lake at Twin Lakes Beach, Soquel Creek at Capitola Beach, Aptos Creek at Rio Del Mar Beach and Porter Gulch at New Brighton State Beach.

Follow Sentinel reporter Cathy Kelly on Twitter @cathykelly9.

--- ©2012 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.)

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