Imperial Beach environmental and water quality advocacy group WiLDCOAST joined the County of San Diego Friday at a press conference to unveil a website to show tourists and local residents water quality conditions in front of a computer or on mobile devices.
Like a map already available on the San Diego Coastkeeper website, sdbeachinfo.com has a map that can be used to water quality status at 80 beaches and test sites and find out whether a beach is closed or if a water quality advisory has been issued.
Unlike the Coastkeeper map, the website focuses on water quality in Imperial Beach, perhaps the city most impacted by consistent water quality issues than any other part of San Diego.
"The current Tijuana River Status is clearly listed in a button near the top of the page as either “LOW” or “HIGH” risk,," said Paloma Aguirre of WiLDCOAST in a statement Friday. "The group's website Friday. This button changes color from green (low risk) to red (high risk), depending on conditions, so that beach users can determine what the potential risks are in the South County at a glance."
Sdbeachinfo.com also has historical water quality data for testing sites along the San Diego County coastline going back to 2000.
Imperial Beach shoreline south of Seacoast Drive near the mouth of the Tijuana River routinely experiences closures during rainfall months of the year.
Beaches in San Diego County are often contaminated by runoff following rainstorms but last year sewage contaminated runoff closed beaches south of Seacoast Drive for almost six months of the year.
Supervisor Greg Cox, who represents portions of South County including Imperial beach, said the app takes the existing information and makes it available on mobile platforms.
"So anybody that has a smartphone, an iPad, a laptop, if they get up in the morning and they go to the beach and they're going to jump in the water and they go 'Oh, my gosh, I forgot to check to see what the water quality is,' they can do that remotely and get the latest information on what the water quality is," Cox said. "If there's any advisories, if there's been an instance of a sewage spill or contamination, they'll have the latest information the Department of Environmental Health has–and it's all at their fingertips."
The app is available at www.countyappcenter.com.
–City News Service contributed to this report.