San Luis Rey River

Water Quality Information


Eroded Slope

Photo by Connor Kuhn

Water quality in the San Luis Rey River, which stretches approximately 55 miles from the Palomar and Hot Springs Mountains to the Pacific Ocean near Oceanside, has been impacted by human induced activities. Constituents of Concern (COCs) along the main stem and the Pacific Ocean shoreline include several water quality parameters. The Pacific Ocean shoreline has high indicator bacteria levels. The lower 13 miles of the San Luis Rey River has high chloride levels and the lower 19 miles of the river has high total dissolved solids (TDS) levels. Sources of the COCs include agriculture, livestock, domestic animals, urban runoff, and septic systems. High bacteria, chloride and TDS levels in water with multiple beneficial uses (how the water can be used), including people touching, fishing or playing in it, can be detrimental not only to the health of the habitat, plants and animals, but also to the people who work and play in the water.

The County of San Diego and a myriad of other participating agencies are working on a Water Quality Improvement Plan for the San Luis Rey River, with the final plans scheduled to be submitted to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board by June 27, 2015. The Water Improvement Goals, Strategies and Schedules Chapter and Appendices of the Water Quality Improvement Plan were submitted to the San Diego Regional Board on December 17, 2014.

In addition to the Water Improvement Goals, Strategies and Schedules, the SLR Watershed Management Area Analysis Report, Attachments and Figures can be found at Project Clean Water’s San Luis Rey Watershed - Plans and Projects.

For information on how homes and business can improve water quality through simple, every day efforts visit Living in a Healthy Watershed.

San Luis Rey Water Quality Resources