By KAREN VELIE
Nearly 10,000 gallons of sewage spilled into a creek in Morro Bay amid the storm on Monday.
At about 11 a.m., sewage spilled into Morro creek at 160 Atascadero Road. Sewage continued to spill for approxamtly 12 hours, with a total 9,900 gallons of sewage being released into the creek, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.
The Public Health Department is warning residents to avoid contact with ocean water during significant rainstorms and for at least three days following them. Contact with stormwater while swimming or surfing can increase the risk of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea.
Rainstorm runoff is known to transport high levels of disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa from watershed and urban areas to the ocean. The organisms carried into the ocean can cause skin, respiratory and intestinal problems, particularly in young children, the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Heath officials are advising anyone who inadvertently comes in contact with ocean water following Monday’s sewage spill is to monitor for symptoms and contact a doctor if symptoms persist or become moderate to severe.