RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO BEACHES: COUNTY WARNS OF CONTAMINATION

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November 20, 2011 (San Diegio)--The County Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Advisory for coastal waters of San Diego County due to recent rainfall. Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain due to elevated bacteria levels. This includes all coastal beaches, Mission Bay and San Diego Bay.

Elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending upon the storm intensity, runoff volume, and ocean currents. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from animal waste, soil, decomposing vegetation and other sources.

Levels can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. 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.