Environment

Rain Prompts Advisory for Beaches

The season's first big storm gave the county a soaking and prompted the Department of Environmental Health to issue a general advisory for local beaches.

The season’s first big storm gave the county a soaking and prompted the Department of Environmental Health to issue a general advisory for local beaches.

Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that the 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 has been issued for the ocean shoreline at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field Park due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States.  Signs will remain in place until sample results indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use.