Monday, June 27, 2022

New Water-Testing System Increases Closures in Coronado

Some residents have noticed that Coronado has experienced an increase in beach closures in recent weeks.  San Diego County health officials have closed Coronado beach three times since May 10. This follows the implementation of a new, more sensitive ocean-water testing technology that provides faster results. San Diego County announced May 4 that it would soon begin using a rapid, DNA-based ocean-water testing system.

The testing, it was reported, would result in earlier warnings that bacteria levels have reached an unhealthy level. Coronado’s beach closed from May 10-13, May 18-26 and was recently closed from June 4-6. The testing technology is being used along more than 70 miles of shoreline the County regularly tests. Samples are taken in the morning and results are provided the same afternoon. Previously, results were not available until the next day after bacterial cultures were able to grow in petri dishes.

Prior to each of the recent closures in Coronado, the County first issued closures for Imperial Beach and then Silver Strand due to sewage-contaminated runoff from the Tijuana River. There are many factors that affect water quality at San Diego County beaches. One factor that affects South County beaches are southern swells, which are more common during summer months and can bring sewage contaminated water north across the international border. This sewage contaminated water is causing the increase in bacteria levels and recent closures. When sample results show that the water is safe for swimming, closures will be lifted, and the beach will be opened.

The good news is faster results means closures are lifted sooner.

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