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.
The environmental health agency has expanded the existing water contact closure area at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge shoreline north to include all of Imperial Beach.
Sewage-contaminated runoff in the Tijuana River has been entering the Tijuana Estuary as a result of recent rainfall. Observations now indicate contamination of ocean water is likely in Imperial Beach. Signs warning of sewage contaminated water will remain in place until field measurements indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use. Additionally, access roads to Friendship Park, within Border Field State Park, may also be affected with sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided.