VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Environmental Health Division is warning residents that rainfall above two-tenths of an inch may be enough to cause significant runoff which can flow into storm drains, channels, creeks and rivers that empty onto the beaches of Ventura County.
The Division said that storm water runoff may carry disease-causing bacteria which could then contaminate the nearby beaches and ocean water.
The runoff can also transport physical hazards like partially submerged tree limbs and logs into the ocean which could cause serious physical injury to visitors.
Due to the potential bacterial contamination, the Environmental Health Division suggests all people avoid coming into contact with runoff water for at least 72 hours (or three days) after all rain activity has ended. This includes creeks, rivers and ocean water.
If contact occurs, the Division suggests you wash your skin thoroughly with soap and water.
Any shellfish on or from Ventura County beaches may also have been exposed to the contaminated water and should not be eaten.
The Divison is advising the annual quarantine of mussels to take effect. This quarantine is due to hazardous levels of a toxin that may occur in the mussels along the Ventura County Coast. This toxin is the cause of paralytic shellfish poisoning and may typically be present in mussels between May 1 and Oct. 31.
If you are interested in learning the bacteriological sample results for specific beaches, you can contact the Environmental Health Division hotline at 805-662-6555 or read them on the Division's web page.