Officials issue local water quality warnings

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SAN DIEGO — County health officials warned Wednesday about potentially poor ocean water quality in La Jolla, a day after extending the area covered by a South Bay beach closure.

The advisory came a day after authorities extended the area covered by a three-month beach closure in Imperial Beach, due to sewage contamination in water samples. The closure, which began on Christmas Day, now reaches the city’s northern end, north of Carnation Avenue.

This week’s sample farther north at La Jolla Shores found bacteria in the water there “may exceed health standards,” but no hard closures were put in place. Still, residents were advised to “avoid water contact” in the area surrounding the samples, taken near Children’s Pool and Avenida De La Playa.

County staff collect samples at 81 San Diego County beaches each week.

Warning signs will remain on the Imperial Beach shoreline until weekly samples reveal levels of bacteria have dropped back to safe levels, according to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality.

Most trails in nearby Tijuana River Valley Regional Park are closed due to muddy conditions.

During dry months, when fewer than 30 million gallons of water flow through the Tijuana River daily, all of it is treated in Mexico before continuing into the ocean. As a result, most of the year, Tijuana River water flows into the ocean south of the border and continues southward, according to the department’s website.

During heavy rains, however, the river’s flow is not diverted or treated, and contaminated water follows the river’s natural course into the United States, where it can flow well north from the Tijuana Slough depending on the additional influence of tides and wind.

More information about park closures across San Diego County can be found at sdparks.org, and more information about ocean water quality can be found here.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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