SAN DIEGO – A general pollution advisory for the coastal waters of San Diego County was issued this weekend by the county Department of Environmental Health due to the recent rainfall.
Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users were 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 may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation, according to the advisory.
While many coastal storm drains within the county are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for general advisories, the DEH said.
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, the advisory said.
Elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending on the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean and current conditions.