Beachgoers urged to avoid waters due to rain

Posted at 2:39 PM, Mar 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-06 17:39:28-05

Swimmers, divers and surfers were given the routine warning: avoid coastal waters for 72 hours following the recent rain.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. The 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 in 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, according to DEH.

A water contact closure was also issued for the ocean shoreline at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park due to the potential for sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River to enter the United States.

The closure area includes the beach-line from the south end of Seacoast Drive to the International Border. Signs will remain in place until sample results indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use.

For updates on beach closure information check the DEH website at or call the 24-hour hotline at (619) 338-2073.