As water from the first rain of the season Wednesday and Thursday flows down from the mountains, it may be picking up harmful bacteria on its way down to the ocean.
Santa Barbara County Public Health recommends avoiding contact with ocean water for at least 72 hours after rainfall for this reason. Creeks and storm drains in Santa Barbara dumped water from the recent storms into the ocean Thursday afternoon.
According to Santa Barbara County Public Health and Santa Barbara Creeks Department, people in the past have complained of skin rashes, ear infections and even intestinal problems after coming into contact with ocean water soon after rainfall. Those who are very young, elderly or have a compromised immune system are at greater risk.
Although ocean water is tested at the beginning of each week, this week’s tests were done before the rain arrived in the area late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Even with the recommendation to stay out of the water for the time being, all beaches are open at this time.