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Rain brings urban runoff to beaches


Last updated 1/25/2020 at 9:21pm

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health issued a General Rain Advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall, Jan. 21.

Swimmers, surfers, and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets.

Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions.

Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs; however, additional warning signs are not posted for General Rain Advisories. Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.

A Beach Closure will remain in place for the Tijuana Slough and Imperial Beach shorelines due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States. The water contact closure area includes all beaches from the International Border to Carnation Avenue.

Beach closure signs will remain in place until ocean water sampling results meet State health standards. Be advised that some access roads and trails within the Tijuana River valley may also be affected by sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided if flooded.

For more information on the Tijuana River, please call the U.S. International Boundary & Water Commission at (619 662-7600.

For updates on beach closure information, visit or call the 24-hr. hotline at (619) 338-2073.

Submitted by The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health.


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