SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – The polluted runoff from this week’s rainstorm is affecting San Diego beaches – especially along the South Bay shoreline which remains closed as San Diego County on Friday continued to test water quality.
The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) issued the general advisory, warning swimmers, surfers and other ocean users to stay out of the water for 72 hours, because rains can significantly increase bacteria levels in ocean and bay waters — especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets. Rains create “urban runoff” that washes pollution from streets, landscapes, homes and roads to the ocean and bay.
Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for general advisories.
On Friday, the county tested the water quality and will not reopen the beaches until it is safe to go back in.