Guam EPA warns residents to stay out of stormwater runoff

20 September 2013

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) is encouraging residents to stay out of stormwater runoff and nearshore waters.

Large amounts of rain create stormwater runoff that may contain high levels of bacteria. Areas of flooding may also be on private property and venturing into flooded areas can be considered trespassing. Residents are also advised to stay out of the ocean as the island is under a high surf advisory until Monday.

“The agency has seen photos of people swimming in runoff and we are advising against this type of activity,” said acting Guam EPA administrator Walter Leon Guerrero. “Residents are encouraged to stay away from flooded areas as they can be potentially dangerous and unpredictable.”

Swimming, fishing or playing in unsafe waters may result in minor illnesses such as sore throats or diarrhea. It might also result in more serious illnesses such as meningitis, encephalitis, or severe gastroenteritis. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of getting sick when they come in contact with contaminated water.

For more information about Guam EPA’s monitoring program or stormwater runoff call Tammy Jo Anderson Taft at 300-4761 or email at TammyJoAnderson.Taft@epa.guam.gov.