Don’t go in the water … for 72 hours after rainfall.

by on November 21, 2011 · 7 comments

in Environment, Health, Ocean Beach, San Diego

As always after a heavy rain, the waters of the Pacific near the coast are dangerously filled with elevated bacterial levels. So, as always, the County Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Advisory for coastal waters of San Diego County due to recent rainfall.

They advise people to avoid activities such as swimming, surfing and diving  in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain.  And of course, this includes Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, the other beaches and San Diego Bay.

And as always, surfers in OB and at the Cliffs will avoid this avoidance and will go surfing.  We know that. You know that. Just be careful.

But just so you know, elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending upon the storm intensity – and this storm was intense – , runoff volume, and ocean currents. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from animal waste, soil, decomposing vegetation and other sources.

Levels can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for General Advisories.



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Lyle November 21, 2011 at 8:50 am

This situation is unacceptable and fixable. One thing that would help is if all us would simply quit dumping our trash, cigarette butts, and pet poop on the streets and sidewalks. Kudos to the local merchants who get up early to sweep a lot of that stuff off the sidewalks. See and for more ideas.

There must be a lot more tourists and locals who use the beach and surf than there are who go to football/baseball games, yet our city (and us by extension) seems to be way more interested in building stadiums than in cleaning up or reducing storm water runoff.

I don’t understand why we all seem to be so accepting of this situation.


avatar Debra July 20, 2015 at 9:01 am

I don’t understand it, myself. I walk my dogs twice a day and pick up some of the most disgusting things–used condoms, fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, soiled diapers, etc., etc.You name it, I have picked it up. All discarded by people, “who *LOVE* the beach.” (!?!)


avatar Goatskull November 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

I don’t think it’s so much a matter of accepting it as much as it’s simply apathy on the part of most people. While I agree that more tourists go to the beach than they do to games, most of them only come during the summer. Even most SD locals who don’t surf and/or live within very close proximity to the beach only spend time at it during the summer months, which in all honesty if fine by me. With that being the case though, pollution and water contamination is just not on their concern radar. As for sports? Well die hard sports fans are die hard sports fans. Even those who might be financially struggling and can’t even afford to go to games seem to be gung ho that the Chargers stay even if it means using city funds to finance a new stadium. Where you are really spot on is people simply changing their personal habits. The things you mentioned don’t even take much effort at all. The thing that always amazes me is that even people who don’t smoke don’t seem to get very riled up over those that do smoke and flick their butts out the window. Again. Apathy.


avatar dd July 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I get pissed when I see smokers throw their butts on the ground, but people will stab you for saying something these days. I get mad when I see people litter in general, but again, people are CRAZY, and will kill you for asking them not to litter.

It’s an entire chain of people acting like jerks in general. I moved to San Diego 7 years ago as a 25 year old wanting to party, but I have NEVER littered, and always am conscious of not leaving a foot print, treating people properly and being a good citizen.

I am in the extreme minority of 20 somethings that move here, most know they’ll be gone in 3-5 years and don’t care about the place. Sadly that is just becoming the norm for young people and it’s only getting worse.


avatar Devon July 20, 2015 at 10:14 am

Whenever I see a butt flicked, I exhuberantly with genuine excitment, run after it pick it up and proceed twords the flicker ‘you dropped this, I didnt want you to loose it’ with kid like enthusiasm.

i say it with pure joy as if they had just dropped a $20

they re so caught off guard by my happiness, that they dont get mad. they look dumfounded, and appaled by themselves.

if i yelled at them, or said it was wrong, they would bark back

but no, I caught em dead in thier tracks. If this happened everytime, they would stop doing it eventually.

kill it with kindness

and to those who struggle with panhandling
when asked for money, I say that I have nothing to offer. Then I ask what they could offer me. Every time I did this they gave me something. The first time I did it I got a quarter. He said, i couldnt have his bill, but he would give me his quarter. it was amazing. i took it. I had just lost my job the day before.

no matter what, it creates genuine conversation and respect from and twords both parties. party on.

when shit sucks, simplify it and open your mind
theres always something easy we could have done that we over look when we get upset.
we dont think straight when we are upset. we just amplify what we re fighting, which is the opposite of what we want.


avatar Geoff Page July 20, 2015 at 11:14 am

Devon, I like your attitude, some of us should take a lesson from that, myself included. I just hope you don’t encounter someone without a sense of humor one day.


avatar unlisted July 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Exactly. :-) there’s always a way to teach and show by example. U can’t change others but what u do can make a ripple.


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