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High bacteria levels at majority of local beaches

WARNING: High bacteria levels found at 15 Santa Barbara County beaches.

The Santa Barbara County Health Department is asking the public to please stay at least 50 yards away from creek mouths and storm drains at these area beaches: Arroyo Burro Beach, Butterfly Beach, Carpinteria State Beach, East Beach @ Mission Creek, East Beach @ Sycamore Creek, El Capitan State Beach, Gaviota State Beach, Goleta Beach, Guadalupe Dunes, Hammonds, Hope Ranch Beach, Leadbetter Beach, Refugio Beach, Sands Beach @ Coal Oil Plant, and Summerland Beach.

Jalama Beach is open.

In Ventura County the mass majority of beaches also have a warning, for not meeting state requirements and having a high level of bacteria. For details on Ventura County beaches bacteria levels, go to the Environmental Health Department’s webpage.

The precautionary warnings are issued during significant storms. When rainfall is significant enough to result in runoff flow into storm drains, channels, creeks, and rivers that empty onto the beach of Ventura County. In general, 0.2 inches of rainfall may be enough to create significant runoff conditions.

The Ventura County Environmental Health Division says storm water runoff has the potential to carry disease causing bacteria to the beaches and into the ocean water. Contact with this runoff water will result in an increased risk to human health and should be avoided for at least 72 hours after all rainfall activity has ended. If contact occurs wash thoroughly with soap and water.

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