Authorities closed a stretch of beaches near the border because of sewage contamination from the Tijuana River, while ocean-goers in other parts of the county are being warned of potential risks caused by urban runoff. Photo courtesy of County News Center

The Department of Environmental Health has issued a warning for the coastal waters off San Diego County due to bacteria rise as a result of recent rainfall, while officials have closed the shoreline at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge — including all of Imperial Beach and Coronado’s Silver Strand — due to sewage-contaminated runoff.

Signs warning of sewage contaminated water will remain in place at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge shoreline north to Silver Strand until the ocean water is safe for recreational use, according to a county statement issued Sunday.

Health officials are also warning swimmers, surfers and other ocean users that all San Diego County ocean and bay shorelines — especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets — may contain elevated bacteria levels due to urban runoff from the rains.

Urban runoff can contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation, according to the county’s General Rain Advisory.

“Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain. This includes all coastal beaches and all of Mission Bay and San Diego Bay,” the advisory stated.

For more information, visit or call the 24-hr. hotline at (619) 338-2073.


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