SAN DIEGO–The Department of Environmental Health has issued a general advisory for the coastal waters of San Diego county due to recent rainfall.

Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff.

Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for General Advisories.

Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain. This includes all coastal beaches and all of Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean and current conditions.

A water contact closure is currently in place for the ocean shoreline at Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge shoreline north to include all of Imperial Beach due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States.

Signs will remain in place until sample results and conditions indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use. The Environmental Health agency will continue to monitor water quality in South County beaches.

Access road to Friendship Park, within Border Field State Park, may also be affected with sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided.