Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services have issued a warning regarding the waters of Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point and advised ocean swimmers to stay out of water that is within 50 yards of storm drains and creek mouths.

Released Jan. 2, sampling results conducted by the county’s Environmental Health Services — in conjunction with private volunteers, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and the city of Santa Barbara — indicated that the beach’s water exhibited bacterial levels in excess of state-mandated safety standards. According to the warning, contact with water at the location may increase beachgoers’ risk of illness.

Currently, all other tested beaches — a total of 16 beaches including popular spots like Rincon Beach and Goleta Beach — were deemed safe for recreational water activity.

As of press time, no representatives from the City of Santa Barbara or Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services could be reached for further comments on the issue.

Environmental Health Services regularly tests 16 beaches throughout Santa Barbara County and in surrounding areas between Feb. 1 and Oct. 31, while beach samplings during winter are conducted by the city of Santa Barbara and SB Channelkeeper through a team of private volunteers.