Tijuana River Valley flooding brings sewage runoff

CORONADO, Calif. -- A stretch of shoreline from the U.S.-Mexico border to Coronado is closed Friday because recent rainfall has pushed sewage-fouled runoff from the Tijuana River into the ocean, where currents have carried it north.

A water-contact closure that had been in effect since Nov. 21 for Border Field State Park and Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge was expanded Thursday to include Imperial Beach and the ocean side of Silver Strand Beach. The closure extends from the international boundary north to Avenida Lunar in Coronado, according to the county Department of Environmental Health.

County officials said recent rain has driven sewage-contaminated runoff in the Tijuana River into the Tijuana Estuary. Observations Thursday indicated northward-moving ocean currents and contamination of the ocean water at Silver Strand.

Signs warning of the pollution hazards will stand along beaches in the affected areas until follow-up testing deems them safe again for recreational uses, county officials said.