Department of Environmental Health

Officials Warn of Urban Runoff at Local Beaches

Runoff from the rain is filled with large amounts of bacteria that can be harmful to human health, according to the Department of Environmental Health.

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A rainy day in San Diego prompted officials to issue an urban runoff advisory and a water contact closure at all coastal beaches and bays.

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) issued the advisory for all beaches in San Diego County because bacteria levels can rise along coastal waters from recent rainfall.

Swimmers, surfers, and other water users were warned that rain brings urban runoff causing bacteria levels to rise near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoons, including ocean and bay waters.

The advisory applies to all beaches from the International Border to the Coronado shorelines, including Imperial Beach and Silver Strand.

The DEH also expanded the existing water contact closure at the Tijuana Slough shoreline because of the sewage-contaminated water from the Tijuana River entering the United States.

Officials said closure signs would remain in place until the water sample results meet standards and is safe enough for recreational use.

According to the DEH, runoff from storm drains may contain large amounts of bacteria such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation that can be harmful to human health.

Officials warn that activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rainfall.

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