Still, Hickman warns that in the next few months particular attention to water quality should be paid by anyone hoping to jump in the ocean. “The water quality impacts will be correlated to how much rain falls and the extent to which mudslides occur near the ocean or coastal waterways, as these factors determine the level of stormwater runoff,” Hickman explained. “This runoff can bring high levels of nutrients, pesticides and animal waste from agricultural areas; debris from compromised buildings and developments that could include heavy metals and household chemicals; sewage or untreated wastewater from damaged infrastructure; and more to county beaches and coastal waters.
According to Bill Hickman, Southern California Regional Manager at the Surfrider Foundation, these concerns are very real. “As we learned from the Thomas Fire in 2017 and subsequent mudslides, there will likely be severe ocean water quality issues once it rains,” he explained in a blog post. “The question that many of us will be asking ourselves is when will it be safe to go in the ocean?
No doubt many Malibu residents are concerned that precipitation could cause a repeat scenario down south. “Ventura surfer here… Don’t surf after the rains. I almost died of E. coli last year after the Thomas fire,” explained Reddit user u/TheAnimas in a PSA of sorts. “The doctors said they were seeing lots of surfers sick. “Burnt metal, plastics, insulation used in homes, etc. , etc. will make the ground very hazardous.
Read more here: The Inertia