County Lifts Water Contact Closure In Imperial Beach

County environmental health officials Tuesday lifted the closure of coastal waters along the Imperial Beach shoreline after water testing found it safe for recreational use.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health regularly issues water-contact closures north of the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park when rainfall causes sewage-contaminated water in the Tijuana River to flow into U.S. waterways.


Nursery Fined For Contaminating Nearby Creek

The California State Water Resources Control Board announced Wednesday that a Fallbrook commercial nursery was fined $18,132 for violating local wastewater discharge requirements for commercial agriculture businesses.

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, a regional partner agency of the state board, inspected Hines Growers Inc. in February, during which staff members observed waste with high quantities of nitrogen and phosphorous discharged into Rainbow Creek from a malfunctioning water recycling system.

Board inspectors also found violations of local waste discharge rules in the nursery’s water quality protection plan, which is required for commercial plant growers.

EPA Updates Residents On Efforts To Reduce Cross-Border Pollution

A representative from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday evening updated San Diego residents on the EPA’s efforts to reduce transboundary pollution in the water between Mexico and the United States.

Local nonprofit Citizens’ Oversight organized the informal meeting at Balboa Park, where the public had the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns.

“It was interesting to us because we live here in California, we care about the bay, we hear about the ocean and we also care about Imperial Beach because we go there a lot and we have property down there,” said San Diego resident Ray Carruthers.

Local Businesses Could Be Eligible For A Climate-Friendly Car

The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District will host a workshop Tuesday for a program to help mitigate the use of high-polluting vehicles around the county.

The APCDs “Clean Air for All” campaign will allow businesses, nonprofits and government organizations to replace their high-emission vehicles with more climate-friendly options. County Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Greg Cox announced the program earlier this month.

Microplastics In Drinking Water ‘Don’t Appear To Pose Health Risk,’ WHO Says

They may be in our oceans, rivers and ice but there’s little evidence to suggest that microplastics in the water we drink pose a risk to our health. In its first review on the health risks of plastic in tap and bottled water, the World Health Organization said that microplastics “don’t appear to pose a health risk at current levels,” but the key finding came with a big caveat — the review said available information was limited and more research was needed on microplastics and how they affect human health.

San Diego Tops Clean Beach Honor Roll

Some San Diego beaches are among the cleanest in the state, according to a water quality report card by a Southern California environmental group. Each year, Heal the Bay releases its Honor Roll and notorious “Beach Bummers” list ranking the bacteria levels found in water at beaches throughout the state. San Diego County had the most beaches on the honor roll with 12 this year — more than Orange County’s 10 and Los Angeles’ two.

Water Board Places 10 County Agencies On Notice To Clean Up San Diego River

The San Diego Water Board is asking 10 local agencies, including the city and county of San Diego, to curtail the flow of human fecal matter into the San Diego River. The problem has gotten worse over the last few years to the point it’s being compared with similar issues along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the state agency that monitors the region’s water quality, “While we’ve all known about the border issue — the Tijuana water shed — it was surprising to find out there was actually a lot of human waste present in the San Diego River water shed,” said David Gibson, San Diego Water Board Executive Officer.

Study: Up To 15,000 Cancer Cases Could Stem From Chemicals In California Tap Water

A new study finds that drinking tap water in California over the course of a lifetime could increase the risk of cancer. Researchers from the environmental advocacy group Environmental Working Group estimated that the contaminants found in public water systems in California could contribute to about 15,500 cancer cases there over the course of a lifetime. These contaminants include chemicals such as arsenic, hexavalent chromium and radioactive elements such as uranium and radium. The study was published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health.

Storm System Expected To Bring Rain, Chance Of Thunderstorms

A low-pressure storm system is expected to reach San Diego County Tuesday, bringing light rain and a chance of thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. The system is expected to move inland across Southern California Tuesday evening and could begin dropping rain late Tuesday evening, forecasters said. Coastal and inland-valley areas could get up to a quarter-inch of rain through Thursday night, while around four-tenths of an inch could fall in the mountains and around two-tenths of an inch is forecast for the deserts, according to the NWS.

Local Elementary School Finds Increased Lead In Drinking Water

Water from drinking fountains at a local elementary school tested for lead levels higher than district-mandated limits, officials announced. Parents at Juarez Elementary School in the Serra Mesa area were notified of the test results in a letter this week. District officials noted that the lead levels discovered actually fell below state and national legal requirements, but failed to meet the more stringent standard enforced by San Diego Unified School District. Federal law requires lead levels under 15 parts per billion, while the district enforces a limit of less than 5 parts per billion. Six different water outlets at Juarez Elementary, including five drinking fountains and one faucet, tested above the 5 ppb requirement.