Avoid Ocean and Creek Waters After Rains

With five- to eight-foot swells in the forecast, Santa Barbara County Public Health reminds ocean swimmers and surfers that storm runoff can cause illness. Muddy offshore waters should be avoided, as well as creek-mouth and drainpipe outlets. The rainwater that runs down creeks to the sea is not treated, and it can carry bacteria that causes ear infection, rash, fever, chills, vomiting, and diarrhea. Shellfish harvesters are advised to wait until 10 days after a rain to allow contaminants to be washed away from shellfish beds. Cooking does not eliminate contaminants such as motor oil and pesticides.