SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services is warning of potential health risks associated with contact with stormwater runoff on local waterways and beaches.
Rainstorms lead to runoff of untreated water, and contact with this water can increase the risk of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea.
To minimize these potential health risks, county health services recommend avoiding contact with ocean and stream water for at least three days after a rainstorm.
The highest levels of bacteria and pollutants are found near drain pipes and stream outlet areas.
Sports harvesters should wait at least ten days before harvesting shellfish. Properly cooking shellfish can remove bacteria, but is less effective for potential viruses, explains the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health.
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