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Swimmers, surfers urged to avoid ocean for three days following rain

Untreated storm water can boost bacteria, pollutants
Posted at 1:41 PM, Apr 22, 2022

Santa Barbara County officials are urging the public to avoid contact with ocean and creek water in the county for the next three days starting Friday.

The Public Health Department has issued a rain advisory after rain fell across the county Thursday night.

Storm runoff is untreated and can carry high levels of bacteria and pollutants, county officials say. Swimmers, surfers or others who come in contact with the water can increase their risk of illness.

In addition, people are urged to wait 10 days after the rain to harvest shellfish, due to a chance of contaminants like pesticides, herbicides and motor oil grease being washed into shellfish beds.

Public health officials say that cooking shellfish will kill bacteria but may not destroy viruses.