Reminder: Don't go swimming after the storm

Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 15:00:51-05

San Diego County residents were advised Tuesday to avoid swimming in the ocean due to possibly heightened bacteria levels caused by the rain pushing bacteria-laden runoff into the ocean.

The Department of Environmental Health issued a general advisory for coastal waters in San Diego County, which includes Mission and San Diego bays. Officials said residents should avoid swimming, surfing or taking part in other water activities for 72 hours following rain.

County officials warned beachgoers that bacteria levels can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and outlets where runoff flows. The runoff can contain bacteria from a variety of sources including animal waste, soil and decomposing yard waste and organic material.

Elevated bacteria levels can linger depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions, according to the DEH.