Paddling during/after rain with runoff concerns

1 week 6 days ago - 1 week 6 days ago #35984 by XLV
I paddle out of Newport Beach and the health department says to generally stay out of the water for 3 days after the rain due to the storm drains and runoff into the bay (I launch from the bay). I've generally followed the 3 day rule, but it's causing me to miss out on some good conditions. Curious what other people do in these situations. Anyone here ever gotten sick from elevated bacterial levels?

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1 week 6 days ago - 1 week 6 days ago #35985 by MCImes
Im up in ventura. This year has has so little rain it hasnt been much of an issue, but last year it rained frequently. It was also my first year on the west coast. I generally ignored the warnings and paddled anyways and never had a problem. I got into open water as fast as possible and did not paddle the harbor.

Locals have warned me about surfers ear and bacterial infections they have got in the past, so im sure there are legitimate concerns.

I wore a full brim hat so no water splashed in my ears or on my head, and I made sure to mostly breathe through my nose as not to get any water in my mouth, and spit profusely on the off chance a drop or 2 got in. Also, I did not paddle if I had any any open cuts.

I probably went out ~10 times last year within 3 days of a rain and had no issues, though Im sure it could have happened. I guess on a rainy year, I'll take my chances with bacteria vs not paddling for months.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
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1 week 6 days ago #35986 by Wombat661
See if your beach has a smiley face. 
https://beachreportcard.org/33.596952957443264/-117.88615474819335/14

Reports in the past shows that water quality can be bad next to storm drain, but hundred yards away good. Rivers like Santa Ana and San Gabriel rivers are bad news. I ride my bike up and down these river. The cut thru heart of LA, and when it rains, all the trash goes to the ocean. I would stay away from their outlet after a rain.
Also my theory is first rain of the season is bad, but second third rain probably is cleaner.
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1 week 3 days ago #36001 by SpaceSputnik
We have the same problem in certain areas of lake Ontario in Toronto area. We generally steer clear of beaches what don't pass ecoli test.
Yes, I know a kayaker who got quite sick (he is ok now)

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
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1 week 12 hours ago #36019 by waverider
Recently learning K1 in rivers I have been falling in a lot..lol...so have given this some thought. Most K1 paddlers do not use PFDs, coming from an open water background i feel naked without one.  What I found is that falling in with a PFD my head rarely goes under, whereas without it often did.  So ensuring you wear a PFD will greatly reduce your exposure in case you fall in.
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1 week 11 hours ago #36020 by mrcharly

waverider wrote: Recently learning K1 in rivers I have been falling in a lot..lol...so have given this some thought. Most K1 paddlers do not use PFDs, coming from an open water background i feel naked without one.  What I found is that falling in with a PFD my head rarely goes under, whereas without it often did.  So ensuring you wear a PFD will greatly reduce your exposure in case you fall in.


This +10

'higher division' racers don't wear PFDs. It is seen as a status thing. It is stupid.

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6 days 12 hours ago #36024 by waverider
yep anyone can have a "medical episode" whilst paddling especially when you consider the mature ages of many flatwater paddlers even compared to ski paddlers, and when you are balancing on a toothpick any incapacitation means you are going over and a PFD can be the difference between getting a lungful of water or not,  if not worse. Theres a lot of crap floating down those "freshwater" rivers.

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