The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department is advising the public to avoid ocean water contact during, and at least three days following, significant rainstorms.
Public health officials say rainstorm runoff is known to transport high levels of disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from the watershed and urban areas to the ocean.
Such organisms carried into the ocean can cause skin, respiratory, and intestinal problems.
Young children, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to these waterborne pathogens.
Surfers, swimmers, and others are advised to avoid contact with ocean water during this period, especially in areas close to creeks, rivers, storm drains, and other runoff outlets that empty into the ocean.
For more information about beach water quality, please visit the Public Health Department Beach Water Quality website or call the Ocean Water Monitoring Program Telephone Hotline at (805) 788-3411.