City Addresses Beach Water Quality Discussion

beach advisory at Avenida del Sol
Image: screenshot, San Diego Beach & Bay Water Quality Program July 3, 2018
beach advisory at Avenida del Sol
Image: screenshot, San Diego Beach & Bay Water Quality Program

Local social media groups have been questioning why Coronado beaches didn’t have the same water advisory signs as ones in place along the beach near the Shores. The advisory was issued on June 27 by the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health Beach & Bay Water Quality Program (and is still in effect as of this morning, July 3).

The city addressed the issue on their Fact or Fiction page, copied below:

 Is the water quality being affected in South Beach and is Central Beach being tested for the Fourth of July?

 The City of San Diego, as part of its requirement for federal water pollution discharge permits, tests an outfall at Avenida del Sol weekly. On June 26, test results revealed an above-normal level of Enterococcus. Fecal coliform levels, which are seen in high numbers when the area experiences sewage flows from the Tijuana River, were minimal on the recent test results. The sample resulted in an advisory being issued by San Diego County. The City believes that the elevated bacteria levels are from kelp breaking up near Avenida del Sol and the Coronado Shores area due to higher water temperatures, an annual occurrence this time of year. There is no indication that the bacteria are from the Tijuana River since no beaches closer to the border have tested for similar levels of bacteria. The City of San Diego tested again on June 28, June 29 and July 1, and will test again July 3. The county’s Department of Environmental Health conducted a test on July 2 after hearing community interest for the upcoming holiday and due to the current advisory. The test results over the last few days have shown a decline in Enterococcus levels, but it is assumed that the advisory will not be lifted until July 5. It is important to note that this is an advisory, and not a closure. The advisory suggests avoiding water contact in the area. Those with a compromised immune system, or the very aged or young may want to avoid contact with the water. The City of Coronado, via Laroc Environmental, will sample Central Beach area on Tuesday, July 3, no later than 8:30 a.m. Although the test will not be definitive, if we have a problem we will know quickly. We will inform the community and update this post. The City of Coronado participates in water quality monitoring programs locally and as part of regional, collaborative efforts to improve water quality for the San Diego Bay Watershed and San Diego Bay. The programs include monitoring in the receiving waters (e.g., bay, beaches) and storm drain outfalls to these receiving waters. In addition, water quality monitoring is also conducted by the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health, the City of San Diego, and the San Diego Bay Watershed Copermittees. For more information, visit the City’s Water Quality Monitoring page.

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UPDATED INFO JULY 6, 2018:

The City of San Diego tested again on July 3 and 5. The county’s Department of Environmental Health conducted a test on July 2 after hearing community interest for the Fourth of July holiday and due to the current advisory. The test results over the last few days have shown a decline in Enterococcus levels. However, the advisory may only be lifted after a positive water quality trend that demonstrates levels have returned to below the state standard. The advisory will remain in place through the July 7-8 weekend as more samples are collected and tested. It is important to note that this is an advisory, and not a closure. The advisory suggests avoiding water contact in the area. Those with a compromised immune system, or the very aged or young may want to avoid contact with the water. The City of Coronado sampled Central Beach area on Tuesday, July 3, and will communicate the results to the Department of Environmental Health to evaluate the advisory status.


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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com