Beaches are a quintessential part of life for many San Diegans and one of the biggest draws for visitors and tourists. Unfortunately, sewer spills and urban runoff from rivers, creeks, lagoons, storm drains and other surface water runoff sources can adversely impact water quality at San Diego County’s beaches and increase the chances of human illness following water contact. Monitoring sewer spills and water quality at the County’s beaches and bays and notifying the public of poor water quality is the primary goal of the Department of Environmental Health’s Beach and Bay Monitoring Program.
Water quality is monitored by the Beach and Bay Monitoring Program at least weekly at more than 80 different beaches during the summer months and at over 50 beaches throughout the County during the winter months to ensure that water quality is safe for beachgoers. When water quality does not meet State health standards or is suspected of being impacted by sewer or chemical spills, water quality advisories and closures are issued to inform the public of poor water quality. The public is notified of advisories and closures 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through a number of different outlets including Twitter, Facebook, email, phone hotline, press releases (when appropriate) and a recently released interactive mobile website.
The website was optimized for use on all types of devices, including computers, tablets, and even smartphones making it quick and easy for the public to check water beach quality throughout the County. Water quality is presented in list formats and on an interactive map which can easily be manipulated utilizing common input gestures to pan or zoom to a specific location. Remember to check the Beach and Bay Monitoring Program’s website before entering the water or sign up for delivery of water quality information through their social media outlets. You can also learn more about beach water quality at their website which features videos, brochures, and other resources.