SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Sewage may be staying closer to San Diego’s coast than previously thought.
A new study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography says pollutants from river outflows can be trapped and remain near the shore due to waves.
The research comes as San Diego continues to face the Tijuana sewage spills.
“The stretches of beaches that could be impacted are much larger stretches than we previously thought,” said Dr. Sarah Giddings, an oceanographer with Scripps.
Scripps partnered with the University of Washington for the study and says it’s one of the first studies to analyze how surf zones and estuaries interact.
“You may think you’re safe because you’re far from a pollutant source, but in fact, it may be traveling towards where you are,” added Giddings.
Scientists say the data they gathered will be used to make an outflow tracking model similar to how forecasters track and predict storms.
“It’s a step toward a solution,” said Giddings, “Scripps has a bunch of different people working on this problem.”