Pollution leads to Oceanside, Carlsbad beach closures after heavy rains

72-hour advisories in effect for other North County beaches in Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar


Rain. (Pete Nowicki, Unsplash)


OsideNewsTwo beaches in Oceanside and Carlsbad were closed as of Wednesday, March 15, after water testing indicated unsafe bacteria levels, according to a San Diego County notice.

Buccaneer Beach in Oceanside, at Loma Alta Creek ranging 1,320 feet north and south, and Carlsbad State Beach, at the Batiquitos Lagoon Outlet ranging 3,960 feet north and south, are closed until further notice, the county’s Beach and Bay Water Quality Program posted on its website.

The closures follow heavy overnight rains from an atmospheric river event. Such weather can result in contaminated runoff, including sewage spills, that pollutes beaches for a time.

Advisories and closures are based on California Department of Environmental Health and Quality monitoring.

“A water contact Closure is issued when a sewage spill or chemical spill impacts ocean or bay waters,” the county’s website explains. “Sewage/chemical contaminated water may contain chemicals or human pathogens that can cause ill health.”

In two-day rain totals from the National Weather Service as of 5:48 p.m. March 15, San Onofre recorded 3.18 inches, Oceanside recorded 2.58 inches and Carlsbad recorded 2.73 inches. McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad recorded 2.47 inches.

A general advisory, which recommends no contact with ocean water for 72 hours after a rain event, is in effect for other local beaches in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff, Solana Beach and Del Mar, according to the county.

In the same two-day rain totals from the National Weather Service, Encinitas recorded 2.21 inches. Other North County communities recorded 2.55 inches (San Marcos), 2.30 inches (Vista) and 2.75 inches (Escondido).