Surfers and other wave dwellers should avoid contact with ocean water during, and at least three days following, significant rainstorm events, according to an advisory by the San Luis Obispo County public health department.
Rainstorm runoff from the watershed and cities can transport high levels of disease-causing organisms, like bacteria, viruses and protozoa. They can cause skin problems, or problems to the respiratory and intestinal system. The risk is especially high in ocean areas close to creeks, rivers, storm drains and other outlets.
People with compromised immune systems, as well as young children and elderly adults, are particularly vulnerable to these waterborne pathogens, the county says.