Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local

New water quality tests raise questions over beach safety

imperial-beach-sign.jpg
Matthew Hoffman
/
KPBS
A sign warning of high bacteria levels in the ocean water is seen at Imperial Beach, Calif. July 4, 2022.

Recently implemented water quality tests at San Diego's beaches have raised questions over whether some San Diego beaches are safe for swimming.

The new tests, which began in May, use DNA technology to test bacteria levels in the water. The initial tests yielded results that triggered a wave of beach closures in Imperial Beach and Coronado that were later reversed.

Now, the county is letting the public choose whether to swim in the water despite finding water pollution levels that could pose a threat to public health. The county had taken the position that it can’t close beaches as the result of water quality tests alone.

MacKenzie Elmer, environment reporter for Voice of San Diego, joined Midday Edition with more on the story.