Lifeguards warn of high surf, rip tides, and runoff - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Lifeguards warn of high surf, rip tides, and runoff

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Heavy rain over the weekend prompted county health officials to close South County beaches to water contact and issue an advisory stating the remainder of the coastline should be avoided.

[Photo Slideshow: Rain storm hits San Diego County (July 18 - 19, 2015)]

The shorelines at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park were off limits because the rainfall likely pushed sewage-contaminated runoff from the Tijuana River toward the South County beaches. The closure area includes the coastline from Seacoast Drive to the border, according to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health.

Signs warning of the closure were to remain in place until sample results indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use.

County officials also issued a general advisory stating that coastal waters -- including Mission Bay and San Diego Bay -- should be avoided for 72 hours after rain.

Bacteria levels can rise significantly after rainfall, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. The runoff may contain bacteria from a variety of sources including animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation.

The heightened bacteria levels may stick around depending on the intensity of the storm, the volume of runoff and ocean conditions, according to the county.

County officials said additional signs would not be posted for the advisory.

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