Aerial photo of coast south of Imperial Beach. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Aerial photo of coast south of Imperial Beach. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Coastal waters around San Diego County have been contaminated by urban runoff from the last few days of rain, according to a general advisory put out by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health.

The department says that beachgoers should avoid swimming, surfing and diving in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain due to increased levels of bacteria. The problem is especially prevalent near rivers and outlets that discharge urban runoff, which can include animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation.

Temporary warning signs are not posted for General Advisories, although many coastal storm drains within San Diego County already feature permanent warnings.

Additionally, the department announced a water contact closure currently in place for the shoreline near Imperial Beach due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States. Warning signs will remain in place until the ocean water is safe for recreational use.