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San Diego County issues advisory to swimmers, surfers following rains

Pedestrians return to Imperial Beach after sand was closed because of COVID 19, but people are not cleared to get in the water on April 29, 2020.
Erik Anderson
Pedestrians return to Imperial Beach after sand was closed because of COVID 19, but people are not cleared to get in the water on April 29, 2020.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality Tuesday issued a general rain advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to 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 such as 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. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs, but additional warning signs are not posted for general rain advisories.

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