Toxic Waters in San Diego

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Water Quality 2015: Carlsbad Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 66, Fair To no surprise, our 2015 data showed that: Nitrate continues to be  consistently high in upper Escondido Creek. Every single sample collected from our three upper Escondido Creek sites was above the basin plan standard. Fecal indicator bacteria counts were also high. In fact, the ten samples with the …

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Water Quality 2015: San Luis Rey Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 80, Fair Of the nine watersheds we measure in our water quality monitoring program, San Luis Rey had the best water quality index score in 2015.  But at 79.9 (roughly a B- or C+) it’s not exactly a stellar grade.   We tracked two parameters of concern in San Luis Rey …

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Water Quality 2015: San Diego Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 62, Marginal The San Diego River had another bad year. Key data takeaways include: Commonly high levels of phosphorus and ammonia Dissolved oxygen at the Fashion Valley site continued to be very low – even in the winter when it is usually higher Repeated reports from our volunteers noting excessive amounts …

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Water Quality 2015: Tijuana Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 14, Poor Since we can only sample the Tijuana watershed when water levels are high after a recent rain, we were only able to sample the watershed three times this year. The Tijuana-based sewage treatment plant handles and purifies 50 million gallons of river water every day, but it can’t handle …

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Water Quality 2015: Otay Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 57, Marginal Over the course of 2015, the Otay Watershed remained the most consistent watershed in the county. Unfortunately, the water quality was consistently bad. Consistently high bacteria levels: Every sample collected exceeded healthy standards for Enterococcus. Consistently high Nitrate levels: Almost every sample exceeded standards Consistently low dissolved oxygen concentrations …

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Water Quality 2015: Pueblo Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 56, Marginal A few key takeaways from our Pueblo Watershed data: Chollas River sites often had very high phosphorus and ammonia Ph and nitrate levels were the only water quality indicators that were not of concern Volunteers found and removed lots of trash from our sampling sites in this watershed As …

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Water Quality 2015: San Dieguito Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 76, Fair Our data in San Dieguito Watershed show: Enterococcus levels were high phosphorous and ammonia concentrations, were also concerning Ammonia and Phosphorous These are nutrients people add to farms, lawns and gardens to encourage robust and healthy plant growth. In our water, however, extra nutrients are harmful pollution. When rain …

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Water Quality 2015: Sweetwater Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 53, Marginal Our data in Sweetwater Watershed showed: Very low dissolved oxygen levels Usually high ammonia and phosphorus concentrations This is another watershed indicative of extremely low water flows creating high nutrient levels and low oxygen levels — so low that the river is nearly depleted of oxygen for many of …

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Water Quality 2015: Los Peñasquitos Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 74, Fair Well, here it is: the most typical, average watershed in San Diego County in terms of water quality pollution and health. Our data in this watershed did not change dramatically from the year previous, nor did it produce any intriguing results this year. It’s typical. The end point for …

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Helping Local Businesses Protect Our Precious Waters

From time to time I’m asked to speak at one event or another on issues related to water quality or water supply and I almost always seize those opportunities to educate and inform on Coastkeeper’s positions and ongoing work. Recently Coastkeeper agreed to co-sponsor a workshop on the statewide industrial stormwater permit and compliance. And, …

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