Thousands of gallons of sewage released into Morro Creek
Public advised to avoid ocean water contact
– Due to heavy rains, 9,900 gallons of sewage was reported to be released into Morro Creek. The spill started at approximately 11 a.m. and stopped at approximately 11 p.m. on Monday.
The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department advises the public to avoid ocean water contact during, and at least three days following, significant rainstorms—such as the recent storm. Contact with stormwater while swimming or surfing may increase the risk for certain types of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to public health.
Rainstorm runoff is known to transport high levels of disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from the watershed and urban areas to the ocean. Such organisms carried into the ocean can cause skin, respiratory, and intestinal problems. Young children, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to these waterborne pathogens.
Surfers, swimmers, and others are advised to avoid contact with ocean water during this period, especially in areas close to creeks, rivers, storm drains, and other runoff outlets that empty into the ocean. Anyone who inadvertently has contact with ocean water during this time should monitor for symptoms and contact their doctor if symptoms persist or are moderate to severe.
For more information about beach water quality, visit the Public Health Department Beach Water Quality website at slocounty.ca.gov/health/publichealth/ehs/beach, or call the Ocean Water Monitoring Program Telephone Hotline at (805) 788-3411.