The Department of Ecology is reminding residents to be wary following heavy rain, because it could lead to sickness.
Julianne Ruffner with DOE tells KXRO that following a heavy rain, people tend to flock to the beaches, but she says be cautious for an increase in fecal bacteria.
“With a heavy rainfall water runs off paved surfaces and land. Runoff can carry pollutants like fecal bacteria to nearby lakes, rivers, and saltwater beaches. Pet waste, domestic and wildlife animal waste can easily be washed downstream. Heavy rains can also cause sewage systems to overflow and discharge untreated sewage into nearby water bodies.
Ecology reminds residents to protect themselves and their families by limiting contact with fresh or marine water after a heavy rain.
They say you should “avoid water recreation for 24 hours after heavy rainfall, especially in areas where you see pipes or streams that drain directly to the beach. “
Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.
Stay updated about water quality at your beaches by keeping up the Department of Ecology on:
• Fecal Matters Blog: http://ecologywa.blogspot.com/search/label/Fecal%20matters
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EcologyWA Twitter: https://twitter.com/ecologywa
• Find public beaches and info on beach closures: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/coastalatlas/