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San Diego County Approves Purchase of New Rapid Water Quality Testing For Beaches



Today, the new Board of Supervisors approved purchasing equipment to expedite water quality test results. This action builds on actions from two years ago when Chair Fletcher, then the lone Democrat on the Board of Supervisors, was instrumental in securing funds in the county budget for improved and faster beach water testing. 
Residents and visitors are consistently dealing with water quality concerns. There is no place more impacted than South County, given its proximity to a consistent pollution dump from the Tijuana River Valley.  

“This new technology will speed up beach water quality testing. The results will be available the same day we complete the test, which will allow us to more quickly take the required actions to mitigate the risk of danger to our residents and protect beach-goers,” said Chair Fletcher. 

The QX ONE Droplet Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction System is a newly approved molecular method that provides same-day beach water quality sample testing results to be reported to DEHQ. The integrated design provides five times more capacity than the current equipment, can provide more data, and will reduce team member hands-on time and the time it takes to test a water sample.

In May 2021, the County received first-in-the-nation coastal community approval from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to utilize the ddPCR assay for beach water testing.

This new water quality testing equipment aligns with Chair Nathan Fletcher’s Framework for the Future of San Diego County . The Framework prioritizes communities and populations in San Diego that have been historically left behind. Through this Framework, Chair Fletcher is fighting for racial justice, health equity, economic opportunity, environmental protection, government transparency, and fundamental changes to county operations.