San Diego beaches

San Diego County Using New Tiered Warning Sign System at Contaminated Beaches

NBC Universal, Inc.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is unveiling a new water quality warning system that it hopes will give visitors more beach access this summer.

The new three-tiered system looks like this: The first is a yellow advisory sign, the second is a blue warning sign and the third is the familiar red and yellow closure signs.

NBC 7's Dana Williams takes a look at grades for San Diego beaches.

The county says the system gives beachgoers an opportunity to decide whether to go into the water based on the seriousness of the contamination. It's getting mixed reviews, especially ahead of summer's marquee holiday.

"If they want to go surf, they’ll go surf anyway. Most people don’t really look at the signs," surfer Beau MacNeil said.

"I wouldn’t be as comfortable if I see the signs up there. I don’t want to risk myself getting sick," beachgoer Juan Carlos Aquino said.

The new tiered system will be implemented starting July 1, according to the county.

A water contact closure in place for Silver Strand State Beach and Coronado Beach will remain in effect because of sewage-contaminated water, the DEH says.

Shark experts said in a recent report that juvenile great whites have relocated from Santa Monica Bay and Will Rogers Beach to Torrey Pines, Solana Beach and Carpinteria.
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