Public health advisories have been issued due to higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Cannon Beach, Tolovana Beach and Short Sand Beach.
Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources, such as storm water runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and even animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can result in diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Direct contact with the surf or water running into the surf in these areas should be avoided until the advisories are lifted, especially for children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.
While these advisories are in effect at Cannon, Tolovana and Short Sand beaches, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.