Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services issued a general rain advisory on Nov. 7, reminding residents about the potential health risks from untreated stormwater runoff.
The advisory comes as the National Weather Service forecasts heavy rainfall for Tuesday, Nov. 8 following Monday’s showers.
The county made the recommendation for people not to swim, surf or play in the ocean and creeks for at least three days following a rainstorm.
“Storm water is untreated rain water that flows through the drain system into creeks, the ocean, and other waterways,” Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Director Lars Seifert said in a press release. “Contact with storm water while swimming or surfing may increase the risk of certain types of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea.”
In addition, Seifert advised beachgoers to avoid areas where water outfall from creeks and drainpipes enter the ocean, due to the potential harboring of bacteria and pollutants at high levels following a rain storm.
The county also recommended for people to wait at least 10 days after significant rain to harvest shellfish.