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Rain runoff prompts water advisories for...

Posted at 1:06 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 16:06:42-04

Recent rainfall prompted the Department of Environmental Health to issue a general rain advisory Friday for the coastal waters of San Diego County.

Swimmers, surfers and other ocean users are 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.

Urban runoff can 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 on the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean and current conditions.

In addition, a water contact closure has been issued for Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park.

The DEH issued the water contact closure for the ocean shoreline at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering 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.