Conditions that led to Hepatitis A outbreak also impacting water - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Conditions that led to Hepatitis A outbreak also impacting water quality

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — More human waste from outdoor camps set up by the homeless is being detected in San Diego County’s coastal waters. 

The San Diego County Regional Water Quality Board has collected reports on water pollution from cities and municipalities around the county since 2001.

From 2013 to 2015,  the agency studied five drainage sites and looked for a human-specific genetic marker, (HF 183) associated with human feces.

Investigators found the marker in 20 of the 22 steams in dry weather and in all 23 streams during wet weather. City Councilmember Scott Sherman says he has been aware of the problem for a long time.

His district covers the Mission Valley area, where homeless encampments along the San Diego River have been cleared out numerous times.  

In addition to the detection of the virus that causes hepatitis, the board’s executive director, David Gibson says he is also concerned about other pathogens in the water that can lead to illness, including Vibrio, e-Coli, and Enterococcus.

For the study, the five drainages at Aliso Creek, Cottonwood Creek (at Carlsbad), Tecolote Creek, San Diego River and Tijuana River were selected based on historic levels of enterococcus at their downstream beaches.

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