San Diego County officials issued a water contact closure notice in Imperial Beach due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States.
The department closed the ocean shoreline at Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park in the wake of weekend rainfall that pushed sewage-contaminated water into the U.S.
The water contact closure area includes all beaches from the international border to the south end of Seacoast Drive.
On Friday, county officials extended the water contact closure area at the Tijuana Slough shoreline to include the Imperial Beach shoreline.
Water contact closure signs will remain in place until ocean water sampling results meet State health standards for recreational use. Residents are encouraged to avoid ocean activities until the signs are removed.
During dry weather when flows are less than 30 million gallons a day (MGD), 100% of the sewage-impacted river water is diverted to a sewage treatment plant in Mexico, according to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Healht (DEH). However, during significant rain events, the Tijuana River diverter is shut down allowing tens or hundreds of millions of gallons of stormwater runoff, impacted with trash, sewage, and other contaminants, to enter the United States.
The rest of the county was under a general rain advisory for 72 hours starting on Nov. 8 due to recent rainfall that has the potential to send urban runoff into the ocean. Swimming, surfing, diving and other ocean activities should be avoided at this time.