Women walk along La Jolla Shores Beach in the rain. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health issued a general rain advisory Tuesday to warn the public to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to the recent rainfall.

Swimmers, surfers and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets.

Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources including animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions.

Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain for 72 hours following a downpour.

A beach closure will remain in place for the ocean shoreline of Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States.

The water contact closure area includes all beaches from the south end of Seacoast Drive to the international border. Beach closure signs will remain in place until ocean water sampling results meet state health standards. Some access roads and trails within the Tijuana River valley may also be affected by sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided if flooded.

— City News Service

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