By SDCN Editor
San Diego, CA–Public health officials are urging the public to stay away from coastal beaches due to contaminated runoffs from the recent rains, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality said Tuesday.
Swimmers, surfers, and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets.
Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff, and ocean conditions. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs, however, additional warning signs are not posted for general rain advisories. Water contact such as swimming, surfing, and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.
A beach closure will remain in place for the Tijuana Slough shoreline due to sewage-contaminated flows entering the United States. The water contact closure area includes all beaches from the International Border to the South end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach. Beach closure signs will remain in place until ocean water sampling results meet State health standards.
Some access roads and trails within the Tijuana River valley may also be affected by sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided if flooded.