First, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!
It’s been a wet couple of days as we have received the first REAL rains of the season! With one more light rain scheduled this evening, these showers have been a much-needed water for our area, but it also presents a problem: urban runoff and bacterial water infestations– always a concern with a watershed event.
As the chemicals wash off into the ocean and the storm drains flood, it has also washed immeasurable amounts of bacteria and other toxins right into our local oceanfront. This is the result of the first-wash urban runoff which usually happens here in the wintertime (when we get first-big-rains). The water bacteria levels in EVERY MEASURED AREA have exceeded state health standards, and could cause illness.
Experts at the ocbeachinfo.com monitoring stations have released an official statement:
“The Environmental Health staff advises swimmers that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters adjacent to storm drains, creeks and rivers during and after rainstorms. The elevated levels of bacteria can continue for a period of at least 3 days after the rain stops depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of the runoff. Swimmers should avoid coastal waters impacted by discharging storm drains creeks and rivers, and beach users should avoid contact with any runoff on the beach during dry or wet weather conditions.”
So, if you’re tempted to hit the beaches this weekend… you now have what you need to make an informed decision on how much you’d like to deal with the ocean waters 🙂