The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is advising the public to avoid contact with ocean water during, and at least three days following, significant rainstorm events.
Runoff from rainstorms transports disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans originating from the watershed and urban areas into the ocean. These organisms can cause skin, respiratory, and intestinal problems.
People with compromised immune systems, as well as the very young and elderly, are especially vulnerable to these waterborne pathogens.
County health officials are asking surfers and other ocean water enthusiasts to avoid contact with ocean water during this period, especially areas close to creeks, rivers, storm drains, and other runoff outlets that empty into the ocean.